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Full text of "Record of the North Cork Regiment of Militia, with sketches extracted from history of the times in which its services were required, from 1793 to 1880"

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REQUIRED, FROM 1793 TO 1880. 

Compiled and arranged, from the most authentic sources. 



Late North Cork Rifles and 9th Battn. the King's Royal Rifle Corps. 



94, 95 & 96 Middle Abbey Stbeet. 


A/6M + 



At the request of many of ray old brother officers, with whom 
I served in the permanent embodiment of the North Cork 
Rifles, during the war of the Indian Mutiny, (from 1857 
to 1860), and at the subsequent annual trainings — up to 
the year 1880 — I was induced to attempt something like 
a Record of the North Cork Regiment. I little thought, 
however, of the difficulty of the task I was about to 
undertake, in the way of finding the necessary amount of 
information. By the kindness of Sir Bernard Burke, C.B., 
Ulster King-at-Arms, I was permitted access to some old 
books, &c, in the Record Tower, Dublin Castle. I gleaned 
something also from the old newspapers in Trinity College, 
and from various histories of the Rebellion of 1798, at the 
Royal Dublin Society Institution, &c. I also gathered a good 
deal of useful matter from old documents kindly forwarded by 
the late Lieut. -Colon el Howe (a brother officer), from Captain 
Hodder, Hoddersfield, Co. Cork, from R. U. P. Fitzgerald, 
Esq., M.P., and others. By this aid I have been enabled to 
produce a volume the contents of which, whatever may be 
considered its demerits, can be relied upon as being perfectly 

I have carefully avoided anything like vague or questionable 
matter, that might tend only to the ridicule or discredit of the 
regiment, or any member of it, and I may conclude by stating 
that I feel much pride at having been honoured with the 
charge of compiling a Record of the gallant old Regiment, in 
connection with which I have spent many of the best years of 
my life. 

- J. D. MERCER, Majob. 

17*/i May, 1S8G. 






I. — MARCH, 1793 

II. — JANUARY, '97 




























constituted from that of the present day, in almost 
every particular, for, although they fought well, but 
little could be said in favour of their drill or discipline. 

The North Cork Regiment, as will be shown in this 
volume, as a matter of record, did their duty well and 
bravely, even when the odds were immensly dispro- 
portioned against them ; and the officers — although, of 
course, devoid of any military education — by their 
coolness and presence of mind when face to face with 
desperate responsibility, proved themselves worthy of 
having their names handed down to future generations 
as examples for gallantry and courage, as what act of 
heroism in modern warfare can exceed that of the 
gallant Captain Snowe at the Bridge of Enniscorthy, 
as stated by Froude.* The North Cork " had suffered 
severely, one detachment destroyed at Prosperous, 
another at Oulart, and still at Enniscorthy they fought 
splendidly/ ' and had retreated only before numbers 
enormously superior, and an enemy whose policy was 
to treat them as traitors to their country, and to refuse 
all quarter to such of them as came within their savage 
power ; but of this more hereafter. 

The North Cork Regiment (No. 34) was raised by 
Government levy, in the North Riding of the County 
of Cork, in the months of April, May, and June, 1793, 
and numbered 26 officers, 24 sergeants, 16 drummers, 
12 fifers, and 446 rank and file, under the command 

* Froude's " English in Ireland," Vol. III. 

of Viscount Kingsborough, with John De Courcey, 
twenty-sixth Baron Kingsale, as Lieutenant- Colonel. 
The following is a list of the officers appointed at the 
time, for which see Army List, January, 1794 : — . 

Colonel Commandant — Yiscount Kingsborough. 
Lt.- Colonel — Lord Kingsale. 
Major — John JNewenham. 

John Wallis. Richard Foote. 

David Franks. Edward Heard. 

James Lombard. 
Capt.- Lieut. — Honble. Wm. De Courcey. 

Charles Yinters. John O'Hea. 

Stephen O'Hea. William Johnston. 

John Norcott. Michael Stewart. 

David Williams. James Glover. 

Michael Rourke Thomas Paye. 

Isaac Silletto. Thomas H. Justice. 

Charles Barry. John Roe. 

Chaplain — Rev. T. Barry. 
Adjutant — Honble. Wm. De Courcey. 
Quartermaster — Charles Yinters. 
Surgeon — Daniel Williams. 

Armit, Burrough & Co., Agents. 
Uniform red, Facings yellow. 


The regiment after its embodiment was moved to 

Limerick and broken up into detachments to various 

parts of that county, in which it remained until the 

beginning of the year 1796, when it was moved into 

Kilkenny, and after a period of some nine months 

there, it was sent to the County Kildare head 

quarters, at INaas, with detachments throughout the 

county. About this time the compulsory increase of 

military power, under the provisions of the " Militia 

Bill," increased the general feeling of discontent, 

and the uneasiness was not abated by the rumour that 

the French Government had undertaken to land an 

army of 20,000 men to assist the Irish Revolutionists. 

This rumour was well founded, for on the 21st of 

December, the French Fleet, under "Morard de Galles," 

with thirty-four sail, entered Bantry Bay. But the 

disasters which befel it are graphically described in the 

Journal of the unfortunate Theobald Wolfe Tone, and 

recorded by an eminent historian.* It runs thus : — 

' ' The morning is now come — the gale continues, and 

the fog so thick we cannot see a ship's length ahead ; 

so here we lie in the utmost uncertainty and anxiety. 

In all probability we are left without Admiral or 

General. Certainly we have been persecuted by a 

strange fatality from the very night of our departure 

from Brest, to this hour. We have been now six davs 

in Bantry Bay — within 500 yards of the shore, without 

* Maxwell. 

being able to effect a landing. We have been dispersed 
four times in four days ; and at this moment, of forty- 
three sail, of which the expedition consisted, we can 
muster of all sizes, but fourteen. There only wants our 
falling in with the English to complete our destruction. 

" On the 27th the weather continued stormy — several 
ships were obliged to cut and run — the fleet was reduced 
to seven sail of the line, and one frigate ; the troops 
to 4,200 men, and the artillery to two four-pounders. 
As a last effort this miserable remnant of the expedi- 
tion determined to seek the Shannon, which had been 
named as the place of rendezvous. During the whole 
gale which blew during the night of the 28th a sixth 
separation occurred, and three seventy-fours and a 
frigate parted company. On the 29th the Commodore 
signalled the captains to steer for France, and the last 
ship of our expedition intended to overthrow the 
British Monarchy quitted the shores of Ireland without 
having landed a single soldier, communicated with the 
disaffected, or thrown a musket on the shore. On the 
1st January the Indomitable, with her three consorts, 
made Ushant and anchored the same evening in Brest 
Harbour. The run back to France, contrary to general 
expectation, had been fortunately uninterrupted from 
the night they left the Raz passage until they entered 
the Goulet on their return. Although the sea swarmed 
with British cruisers, the French Fleet had never seen 
a man of war." 

The failure of the French attempt was of course very 


depressing to the Irish Unionists, and the reports of 
Irish agents tended little to encourage a fresh attempt, 
the gasconade of some presenting a ridiculous contrast 
to the gloomy anticipations of the remainder. The 
spirit of the Revolutionists, however, was as untameable 
as ever, and the capture of Lord Edward Fitzgerald 
about this time in Thomas Street, Dublin, was an 
additional incentive to stir up their fury. This occurred 
on the night of the 18th of May, 1797, and now open 
rebellion was threatened, and troops were being poured 
into Dublin to protect the Capital. The North Cork 
was about one of the first regiments ordered to Dublin, 
and was quartered in George's Street Barracks, now 
the establishment of Messrs. Pim, Brothers & Co. 

January, 1797. 

The year 1797, it has been stated,* was one rather of 
preparation than of incident, and the exertions of the 
leaders of the conspiracy at that period were unceasing, 
and the efforts of the Government equally so, and with 
such effect that nearly all the principals were arrested, 
for immediately after the capture of Lord Edward 
Fitzgerald, the brothers John and Henry Sheares were 
taken, tried and executed, from papers found in their 
possession and the savage ferocity of intention indi- 
cated therein, especially the proclamation (to give no 
quarter) in the handwriting of John Sheares, about 
to be issued to the rebel leaders throughout the 
kingdom, showed that a terrible insurrection was 
about to burst forth. The plots to sei2e upon the 
metropolis, the Castle, Trinity College, &c, were all 
fortunately discovered by the indefatigable Major 
Sirr, in time to prevent any calamity of the kind. 

1798, April. — Meanwhile the crisis rapidly hurried on, 
and every day it was expected the explosion would take 

* Maxwell. 


place, and so on until the 23rd of May, a day that must 
ever carry with it deplorable recollections, for before 
another sun should rise the city was to undergo all the 
horrors that attend upon Civil War. Evening came, but 
no positive information had as yet reached the Castle, 
when late in the day Lieutenant La Touche, of the 
County Dublin Yeomanry Cavalry, sent word to apprise 
the Lord Lieutenant that the insurrection had actually 
broken out, and the rebels were collecting in great 
numbers at Rathfarnham, and in the roads and fields 
in the vicinity of Dublin. Immediately the garrison 
drums beat to arms ; the " North Cork Militia " — 432 
strong — formed in Stephen's Green ; and all the 
approaches to the city were strongly guarded and 
occupied by the Royalist troops. The capture of Dublin 
was the grand and primary object at which the con- 
spirators aimed, and a simultaneous movement on the 
capital by the Kildare rebels was to have seconded the 
efforts of the disaffected within the city. 

The stoppage of the mail coaches was to be the signal 
for a general rising. On the evening of the 23rd the 
Belfast mail was burned at Santry ; the Limerick 
stopped on the Curragh of Kildare, and both guard 
and coachman murdered ; the Athlone coach was 
destroyed at Lucan ; and the Cork mail at JNaas ; and a 
number of petty affairs followed the instant outbreak of 
the rebellion, all tinged in a lesser or greater degree 
with the atrocity attendant upon Civil War. 

The North Cork only mustered 432 men for the 


defence of the city, and, as the garrison was almost 
drained of regular troops, the safety of Dublin was 
intrusted to the Militia and Yeomanry, which circum- 
stance was not overlooked by the rebel leaders. In 
barracks soldiers cannot be easily surprised, a few 
moments being sufficient to place a regiment in order of 
battle, but to collect stragglers dispersed and distant 
from the alarm posts they have been instructed to 
assemble at, is a work of time, and equally difficult and 
precarious, as in an attempt to reach the post assigned, 
individuals and isolated parties are readily intercepted 
and overpowered. 

From the paucity of the number of troops in the 
country at the period, it was the custom of the wise- 
heads in command of His Majesty's forces to break up 
regiments into small parties for detachment duty. One 
fatal example of the evil attendant on such practice 
occurred to a company of the North Cork. "It is diffi- 
cult to decide, however, whether the stupidity of Swayne 
or the treachery of Esmonde M is most to be condemned. 
A man may trifle with himself individually, but for 
him who turns right or left from the plain path which 
duty points to, and compromises the safety of those 
committed to his charge, there can be no extenuation. 
For Swayne's folly there can be no apology ; his 
pickets should have been doubled. A cart — a ladder 
drawn across the street, would have marked suffi- 
ciently where those who came to surrender arms might 
approach with full security; a step beyond it, if the 


challenge failed, the advanced sentry shot the intruder 
dead, and the garrison was at once alarmed. " So much 
for Swayne ;" his weakness was inexcusable. He died 
its victim — ignobly certainly, but still by the weapon 
of the foemen. Esmonde met the doom he merited* — 
a halter. 

The following account from Mr. Froude's " English in 
Ireland," page 359, vol. iii., is believed to be perfectly 


■ inn iiiiii inn i iiiiii mi I ■■■■■■■ mill ■■■■■■r*."li 

pribgeti Recount 






Irish Rebellion, 1798. 

"1798, 24th Mat/. — Captain Swayne was at Prosperous 
in the County Kildare, with a detachment consisting of 
sixty men of the North Cork Militia and twenty- three 
of Wynn's Ancient Britons Dragoons. Among the 
officers of the Clane Yeomanry — a party of which corps 
was stationed at the village from whence it took its 
name, about two miles from Prosperous — was a gentle- 
man named Esmonde, who affected loyalty for the 
better service of his country and her cause. He had 
seduced the majority of his corps ; he was in accurate 
correspondence with the insurgent leaders in the neigh- 
bourhood. It was arranged that, on the preconcerted 
signal — the non- arrival of the mail from Dublin on 
the night of the 23rd — Naas, Clane, aud Prosperous 
were to be attacked at the same moment. Esmonde 
and the disaffected yeomen were to assist, and the 
officers and the loyal part of the soldiers were to be 
destroyed. Surprise was an essential part of the scheme. 
At the latter place many of the soldiers were billetted 
in private houses. If off their guard, they might be 


found divided, and then could be easily dealt with. 
Swayne had been directed to collect the arms of the 
people at Prosperous. On Sunday, the 20th of Ma} r , 
he took his company of the North Cork to the Roman 
Catholic Chapel. Father Higgins, the priest, addressed 
his congregation on the duty of submission to the 
authorities ; and Esmonde, who had ridden over from 
Clane in the morning to support his brother officer, 
spoke to them as a Catholic in the same tone. A number 
of peasants, in apparent obedience, surrendered their 
pikes. In the priest's presence they expressed regret 
for having been betrayed into the conspiracy, and pro- 
mised to have no more to do with it. 

" To avoid recognition by his comrades, Esmonde 
undertook to lead the attack at Prosperous, leaving his 
own captain deserted, to be destroyed by others. On 
the afternoon of the 23rd, when the hour was drawing: 
near, he paid Swayne a visit, and dined with him at a 
hotel in the town. Father Higgins was present, and 
he and Esmonde told Captain Swayne that the people 
were really penitent. Yery many of them wished to 
give up their arms, but they dare not bring them in 
the day for fear of being recognised by their con- 
federates ; they would have brought them at night, and 
have laid them down in the street, but they were afraid 
of the sentinels. Swayne, credulous and good-natured, 
suspected nothing. He ordered the sentinels, if they 
saw men moving in the street after dark, to take no 
notice of them. The mails left Dublin that night as 


usual. They were all stopped on the roads by the 
country people, according to instructions, and the call 
to arms went out. At two in the morning, when sleep 
was deepest, before the streaks of dawn had begun to 
show, Esmonde, with his Clane yeomen, a multitude of 
ruffians, armed chiefly with pikes, came into Prosperous. 
The sentinels gave no alarm, and were killed; and 
then, at once, before a note of warning had been raised, 
the rebel band flung themselves, with a wild yell, upon 
the barracks ; the door went down. Swayne's room 
was on the ground floor ; they plunged in and stabbed 
him as he was springing from his bed. The soldiers, 
startled out of their sleep, snatched their muskets and 
rushed out. The mob swung back into the street, 
barricaded the doors to keep them secure, and then 
flung fire into the cellars, which were filled with straw 
and faggots. Beset on all sides, the miserable men 
were driven from the lower rooms up the stairs ; as the 
flames pursued them, they sprung out of the windows, 
the mob below catching them as they fell on their 
pikes, and, as each victim writhed upon the point, 
received him with a fierce 'Hurrah!' The North 
Cork were Irishmen and Catholics, but received no 
mercy. All who were in the barracks were killed or 
desperately wounded. 

" The Ancient Britons — the remainder of poor 
S wayne's force — were quartered in a private house ; they, 
too, were hated equally, for they had made themselves 
notorious in the disarming of Ulster. Eight of the 


twenty-three leaped out of a back window and escaped 
across the country in the darkness, the rest were killed, 
their horses, arms, and uniforms taken by the rebels. 

" Retribution was, however, close at hand. At Clane 
there were no barracks; the troops were billetted about 
the place in twos and threes, and were thus more 
dangerously exposed than at Prosperous. The attack, 
however had been delaj^edtill dawn. Captain Griffiths, 
who was in command of a party of the Armagh 
Militia and a corps of local yeomanry, felt for some 
reason uneasy and sleepless. Looking from his window 
he saw files of armed 'men coming in alon^ 
the roads. He gave the alarm in time to enable 
the Armagh to dress and snatch their muskets. 
The street was full as they came out, but the men fought 
their way towards one another, formed into line, and 
charged. Having failed in their surprise, the rebels 
showed their usual inability to encounter disciplined 
men. Though fifty to one, they turned and ran out of 
the town. Outside they were joined by parties coming 
up from Prosperous. Cheered by the news their friends 
brought, they formed again, and returned to the attack. 
They were received with a steady fire, which they were 
unable to face. Falling fast they wavered and broke. 
Esmonde had carried with him all the yeomanry but 
seventeen — these few charged and completed the route, 
and the wretches, masquerading as Ancient Britons 
were every one cut down. It was now six o'clock, p.m. 
Details had come in of the frightful disaster at 


Prosperous. Pursuit with so small a force was impos- 
sible. Griffiths recalled his men, and reviewed his 
losses, and, unable to account for the shortness of 
numbers in the yeomanry, ordered them to parade. 
Those who had been concerned in the night's work had 
come back expecting to find as complete a sweep of 
their comrades as they had made themselves of Swayne 
and the " North Cork." Finding the day gone against 
them, they either dispersed or stole into their quarters 
unperceived. Esmonde especially contrived to reach 
his room to wash, dress, and powder himself, as a dog 
would do after a midnight orgie among sheep, and pre- 
sented himself in his place in the ranks as if he had 
never been absent from quarters. 

"There was no time for inquiry. A messenger 
galloped up at the moment with the news that Lord 
Gosport was at Naas, and required instant help. The 
men swallowed a hasty breakfast. Griffiths was in the 
saddle ready to start, when a note was slipped into his 
hand telling him that Esmonde had led the rebels at 
Prosperous. He thrust it into his pocket, and said 
nothing till he reached Naas, when the treacherous 
officer was placed in arrest, sent to Dublin, tried by 
Court Martial, and was promptly hanged. At Naas it 
was found that the attack had failed as at Clane, but 
not until after a sharper struggle. Gosport, more 
fortunate than Swayne or Griffiths, had received notice 
to be prepared on the evening preceding. The alarm 
was sounded at half past two in the morning. The 


rebel columns were entering on four sides. They forced 
their way into the gaol, where they were received with 
grape from some field pieces, and with a heavy musketry 
fire. They bore three volleys before they gave way. 
Thirty of them were found dead in the streets, and as 
many more in the fields and lanes outside the town. 
The troops in turn had suffered severely. The rebels 
had fought with dangerous courage, and their evidently 
enormous numbers created just and serious misgivings, 
for, in fact, they were everywhere, and all day long the 
smoke of burning homesteads was seen rising from 
every point of the horizon." 


The Rebel Army. 

On the 27th of May, by mid-day, the rebel army, 
numbering 5,000, encamped on the Hill of Oulart, 
under the command of Father John Murphy, of Boola- 
vogue. He was the son of a peasant at Ferns in the 
same county (Wexford) ; he had been educated for 
the priesthood at Seville ; had settled in his own 
country, a few miles from his birthplace, and had there 
remained waiting for the Salvation of Israel, and had 
grown into a big, coarse, powerful man of forty, when 
his country called upon him for his services. It is to 
be hoped that his action was unpremeditated, for he 
had recently taken an oath of allegiance, and made 
solemn protests of loyalty to the King and Constitution. 
The news that the people were out had been brought 
early in the day into Wexford. All the morning 
messengers were coming in bringing accounts of the 
murdering and burning, and praying for help to those 
who were left exposed. The garrison in the town was 
scanty, but Lieutenant- Colonel Foote was despatched 
after breakfast with a hundred and ten men of his 
regiment (the North Cork), and thirty or forty mounted 


yeomanry of Lehunt's, a force considered amply suffi- 
cient to subdue any resistance which they were likely 
to meet with, and supposing that he had to deal only 
with a contemptible mob, Lt. Colonel Foote had flung 
himself on a body of men fifty times his number, mad 
with the excitement of a religious war, and armed with 
a weapon which, in determined hands, was gradually 
discovered to be a formidable one. 

Father John, seeing that he was to be attacked, had 
divided his force with extemporized generalship. 
Finding the rebels stand better than they expected, 
the troops recoiled to re-form. When they found that 
they were surrounded, and their retreat cut off, most of 
the yeomen deserted their comrades, and the North 
Cork were cut down almost to a man. There were no 
wounded in those battles ; every one who fell was 
despatched. The colonel only — with a sergeant and 
three privates — made their way back to Wexford. 
Major Lombard, Captain DeCourcy, and four other 
officers had been killed, namely, Lieutenants Williams, 
Ware, and Barry, and Ensign Keogh. 

The effect of Foot's defeat was frightful. The widows 
and children of the North Cork men, who had fallen at 
Oulart, rushed about the streets of Wexford, wringing 
their hands and shrieking, in the most wretched state. 
Fierce, gJoomy knots of men gathered about the quays 
whilst the Protestant ladies and clergy took refuge in 
the ships in the harbour, offering high prices for a 
passage to Wales. The panic spread through the 


country. The Protestant families crowded on all sides 
into the nearest towns ; while Father John, reposing 
for the night on his field of glory, sent out his scouts, 
calling on all the peasants to shoulder their pikes and 
join him onthefollowingmorning. On the Slaney, twelve 
miles above Wexford, stands the town of Enniscorthv. 
The river is crossed here by a bridge — the town itself 
stands on the west side. This station — as commanding 
the passage between the two divisions of the country — 
was important enough to have retained a tolerable 
garrison composed of eighty men of the " North Cork," 
so many of whose comrades had lately fallen at Oulart 
and Prosperous, a hundred and sixty yeomen belonging 
to Enniscorthy itself, and sixty more from Ferns and 
the adjoining baronies. Captain Snowe, of the North 
Cork, was in command. Captain Drury, a local officer 
of yeomanry, who commanded under him — had seen 
service in the American war. Father John's perform- 
ances had sent every Protestant in the neighbourhood, 
who had escaped his pikemen, into Enniscorthy for 
shelter. Several hundred — the greater part of them 
women, children, and old men — had crowded into the 
town on Sunday, where, if their property was destroyed, 
they believed their lives would be safe. But Father 
John, after his victory over Foote, aspired to be the 
liberator of his country. He required possession of 
Enniscorthy Bridge, that he might open his way to 
New Boss and Kilkenny. Oulart was but five miles 
distant, and Snowe was not long in learning that he 


must prepare to be attacked in the morniug. He hud 
the yeomen's families to protect as well as the fugitives 
from the country. Under these hard circumstances he 
made the best dispositions in his power. He arrested 
the most dangerous of the inhabitants, and locked them 
up in the gaol and market- house. The North Cork 
were posted on the bridge, on the direct road from 
Oulart ; the yeomen were placed at the back, where 
the road entered from the west. In this position they 
lay under arms through the Whit- Sunday night. 

Father John was early astir on the morning of Whit- 
Sunday. His call had been well answered ; the news 
of his first triumph had rung a peal through every 
parish. Among those who had come in to him before 
day-break were a few score of duck- shooters, from the 
marshes — experienced shots, armed with their fowling- 
pieces. He had secured the muskets and pouches of 
the dead soldiers, and he found himself with eight 
hundred men, possessed of firearms of one kind or 
another, besides 5,000 pikemen. It was a hot, bril- 
liant morning. Father John was a born general ; 
he threw out skirmishers on either side of him, 
who availed themselves of the natural cover and 
pressed on from bank to bank. According to the ancient 
Irish custom, he drove along the road in front of 
him a herd of wild cattle, goaded into madness, who 
rushed into the yeomen's lines ; the duck-shooters fired 
steadily. Captain Drury said that in all his American 
experience he had never seen guns better handled. The 


soldiers were raw hands, caught up but a few weeks 
before, and scarcely better disciplined than the rebels. 
Outnumbered twenty to one, with the cattle plunging 
upon them, and losing men fast, the yeomen sent to 
Captain Snowe for assistance, but he had by this time 
his own hands full at the river, and was in need of much 
help himself. The troops gave way, but very slowly 
fighting, inch by inch, desperately. Still numbers toltl. 
As the rebels advanced they set fire to the houses on 
each side of the street, and the battle went on under an 
arch of flame ; the inhabitants seeing the soldiers retir- 
ing, fired upon them from the windows, and the streets 
were filled with the dead and dying, five rebels falling 
for each yeoman. Themselves under shelter, they sent 
their volleys with destructive effect into the exposed 
mass of men who were struggling within ten paces of 
their guns, and Father John seeing he could make no 
further progress, and was throwing away lives unneces- 
sarily, fell back to the fields outside, and prepared to 
try again at nightfall. 

Meanwhile Captain Snowe, with his company of the 
North Cork, had held his ground gallantly, though with 
less difficulty than the yeomen, as his men had been 
better protected by situation. Foiled at the bridge, 
where they fell in scores, the rebels had twice attempted 
to force a passage above and below it, but were driven 
back at both points, and by two o'clock the town was 
cleared, and Enniscorthy was still in possession of the 


But in what condition was it left ? Half the town was 
burning ; five hundred rebels lay about the streets 
dead and dying ; the prisons were filled with desperate 
men, whom there was no force to guard ; the Catholic 
inhabitants were furious ; of the scanty garrison a third 
had been killed, besides the wounded ; and an unknown 
number of Protestant gentlemen and tradesmen who 
had given their services had fallen also. Outside was 
the fast increasing insurgent army, savage for revenge ; 
within were several hundred unfortunate beings — 
families of tradesmen and farmers, households of gentry 
and clergy — all now on a common level of misery. The 
garrison might maintain themselves in the gaol, but 
those forlorn people, when the rebels broke in again, 
must inevitably be sacrificed. To prevent a scene 
which would have rivalled the worst infamies of 1641, 
Snowe decided on evacuating the town, and escorting 
his charge to Wexford. It was a frightful alternative. 
The distance was but twelve miles, and the weather was 
dry and warm ; but there were no carriages, no horses, 
save the few belonging to the mounted yeomanry, and 
these, though cheerfully surrendered, were altogether 

There were wounded men to be transported, and 
delicate ladies, and little children, too young to walk f 
too old for their mothers to carry them, and the infirm 
and aged, and the sick and impotent, yet to leave them 
behind was to leave them to certain death. Late in the 
afternoon the miserable march began. The insurgents 


rushed in as the troops filed out. Women unable to 
reach the bridge waded the river to escape with their 
babies on their backs. The march was rapid. Two 
miles below, on the Wexford road, they passed a wood, 
known as the wood of St. John, or Ringwood, and 
many poor creatures, struggling painfully on, were 
tempted to fling themselves down among the brush- 
wood, hoping to lie concealed there till morning. The 
rest of stronger limb, or stouter spirit, pushed on, and, 
soon after nightfall, found a brief respite from their 
sufferings within Wexford gates. 

Father John's object now was Wexford City, and on 
the night of the 26th May he encamped within four 
miles of it, at a place called Three Rocks. On Whit 
Tuesday 200 men of the Donegal Militia, under com- 
mand of Colonel Maxwell, arrived to strengthen the 
garrison, which was quite inadequate to cope with the 
overwhelming force at Three Rocks. Half of the small 
garrison had been killed at Oulart, and in less than 
forty hours after that disaster Enniscorthy had been 
captured. The North Cork had suffered severely ; one 
detachment of the regiment had been destroyed at 
Prosperous, another at Oulart. At Enniscorthy they 
fought splendidly, and had retreated only before 
numbers enormously superior. All the Irish Mililii 
had to do with an enemy whose policy was to treat 
them as traitors to their country, and to refuse all 
quarter to such of them as came within their savage 


The fate of the city depended upon General Fawcett, 
who commanded at Duncannon. He started from thence 
with two regiments ; the 13th Regiment of the line and 
the Meath Militia — two companies of the Meath were 
sent on in advance with some artillerymen and a couple 
of guns, but the General loitered on the way, and the 
detachment of the Meath, in fact the entire party, were 
surprised by an ambuscade and killed to a man, and the 
guns captured. 

A few of the artillerymen were kept alive to serve 
them. One single officer alone survived to carry the 
tale to Maxwell. Notwithstanding this disaster Wex- 
ford might have been saved had Fawcett possessed 
conduct or courage ; but the evil spirit of Abercrombie 
had unnerved too many of the English generals. 

Fawcett, who had reached Taghmon in the morning* 
at once turned back and retreated on Duncannon* 
Maxwell pushed out from the town hoping to meet him 
on the road. 

He arrived at Three Rocks only to find Father John 
too strongly posted for his small force to dislodge. The 
mounted yeomanry were unsteady and fled. His 
infantry were driven back with loss ; and he was 
obliged to retreat precipitately. 

Wexford, too, like Enniscorthy, had now become 
untenable. The bulk of the inhabitants were at heart 
with the rebels, and were kept quiet only by fear. If 
Father John advanced they would certainly rise and 
assist him. 


Fawcett had deserted the garrison, and Maxwell him- 
self had been beaten in a skirmish, which proved that 
Father John was too strong for him. The enemy wi s 
without, and traitors were within. 

At midnight on the 30th May, Maxwell marched out 
of Wexford, thirty-six hours after he had entered it, 
and retreated by the sea road, which was still open to 
Duncannon. His soldiers were charged with having 
been guilty of some outrages on the way — burning 
houses and flogging men. It may have been so ; dis_ 
cipline is rarely sustained in the wreck of a beaten 
army ; and the road lay through the Barony of Forth* 
which had supplied Father John with the duck-shooters^ 
from whose long guns the North Cork had suffered so 
severely at Enniscorthy. Maxwell himself says that he 
reached Duncannon without interruption, which seems 
unaccountable as the spirit of the rebels was savage in 
consequence of the beating they had received at Ennis- 

Father John meanwhile had his eyes on larger 
objects. Wexford was now secured, but a local rising 
could not hope for permanent success. If the insurrec- 
tion was to triumph, it must spread ; it must envelope 

Nothing had really been done till Dublin especially 
had been wrested from the invader. 

The people were everywhere prepared to rise, and 
the rebel army had only to show itself to be swollen by 
the local levies, the object being the deliverance of 


Dublin ; the number of armed men who could be relied 
upon was practically unlimited. The rebel army was 
ordered to move up the Slaney from Enniscorthy, take 
Newtownbarry, sweep the loyalists out of the north of 
the county, and then, advancing through Carlow into 
Kildare, threaten Dublin on the west. 


Battle of New Ross, 5th June, 1798. 

The town of New Ross stands on the slope of the river 
Barrow, which rises on the Wexford bank of the river. 
It was then surrounded by a wall which had once resisted 
Cromwell, there were four gates, two at the bottom of 
the town, by the water side, through which the high road 
passed from Dublin to Waterford, and two above. When 
it was known that New Ross was in danger, General 
Johnstone had been sent to take charge of it with some 
English artillery, a squadron of dragoons, a Scotch 
Fencible regiment, the Antrim, the North Cork, the 
Meath, and the County Dublin regiments, the latter 
under the command of Colonel Luke Gardiner, Yiscount 

The rebels on their side had commenced by making 
a camp, six miles off, at Carrickbyrne Hill, from which 
they plundered the adjoining baronies. Having taken 
many Protestants, they availed themselves for their 
safe keeping of Scullabogue, a place belonging to a 
Captain King, at the hill foot. They turned the barn 


into a prison and quartered the guard in the dwelling- 
house. After being thus occupied for a week they 
pushed forward and arrived at Corbet Hill, overhang- 
ing the valley of the Barrow. The troops were under 
arms all the night of June 5th. They were paraded at 
two in the morning, and as day began to break, the 
peculiar Irish cry was heard rising in gathering waves 
of sound, in the direction of the camp ; nearer and 
clearer it came through the morning air. The rebels 
came on slowly and in enormous numbers — not less 
than thirty thousand ; they marched in order, by 
parishes and by baronies, the Dublin regiment under 
Mountjoy. The North Cork, the Antrim, and the 
dragoons, were drawn up outside " Three Bullet Gate " 
on open ground. The rebel masses bore down the hill 
towards them. 

When about a musket shot off they halted. Priests 
were seen moving up and down the lines in their vest- 
ments and carrying crucifixes. Mass was said at the 
head of every column, the men kneeling with marked 
devotion. For the moment General Johnstone thought 
that they were hesitating, but he was swiftly undeceived. 
It was now a little after three o'clock, daylight being 
scarcely yet fully established, when the battle began. 
They rose from their knees, the lines opened, and 
between them came herds of wild cattle rushing on 
amidst shouts and yells which burst from the enormous 
multitude, the rebels pricking them forward with their 
pikes. A fourth part of the rebel army had fire arms, 


but their main strength was in the pikemen, who 
formed in column behind the cattle, and charged with 
the fierceness of resolution for which the English and 
Scotch officers present were quite unprepared. They 
rushed upon the Dublin regiment, which was in some 
confusion, and drove it back through the gate ; Mount- 
joy fell and was carried off into the insurgent lines. 
The dragoons charged, but without effect, and recoiled 
with loss. A gun was taken, and the rebel pikemen 
poured into the town after the retreating troops. 
According to their usual tactics they immediately fired 
the houses. Cannon had been placed in the long, 
straight street, which leads from the market place to the 
" Bullet Gate," and poured round shot and grape into 
their dense masses. Multitudes fell. An entire 
column was annihilated — not a man escaped out of it. 
Brave as they were, so terrible a reception startled 
them. They fell back for a while, and the troops had 
time to rally and reform. But soon the rebels came on 
again through smoke and flame, their courage and 
their overwhelming numbers compensating for want 
of discipline and inferiority in arms. Nor was the 
pike, in the hands of a strong, bold man, a weapon to 
be lightly regarded. With a shaft twelve or fifteen 
feet in length, a long taper point, with a hook some- 
times attached which would drag a horseman from his 
saddle, it was an overmatch under some conditions for 
the bayonet. Johnstone's advantage was in his heavy 
guns. The rebels had no artillerymen, and such 


cannon as they captured they were unable to use. But 
the daring of the Irish on that day defied even artillery. 
A spectator from a window close to the spot from 
whence a gun was strewing the streets with piles of 
dead, saw a man rush straight upon it, and thrust his 
hat into the smoking muzzle, crying, " Come on boys ; 
her mouth is stopped ! " In another second he was 
blown to atoms. Careless in their desperate fanaticism, 
the Irish then showed in rebellion the contempt of 
danger which, as soldiers in the army of their sove- 
reign, they never failed to show. Four guns were 
taken. They forced the troops backwards and down- 
wards to the river — part into the market-place, where, 
as at Enniscorthy, the stone buildings became a 
fortress into which they could neither burn nor pene- 
rate ; part down over the bridge and into Kilkenny. 

At one time the rebels seemed to have won the 
day, and they would have won it, could their leaders 
have restrained them in victory. But they turned 
uncontrollably to plunder — incendiarism and whiskey, 
discipline resumed its superiority. Behind the river 
the broken troops had reformed. Johnstone led them 
back to the charge, and the rebels now scattered were 
driven back in turn at the bayonet's point. The guns 
were recovered and again began to work havoc in the 
disordered crowds. The carnage was now dreadful. 
No quarter had been given by the rebels at the begin- 
ning of the engagement — none was allowed them at the 
end of it. They were driven out through the gate at 


which they had entered ; they attempted a stand within 
the lines where they first appeared in the morning- 
Johnstone stormed them and broke them. There Lord 
Mountjoy's body was found mangled and butchered in 
the most horrid manner, far from the place where he had 
fallen. Mountjoy was the Luke Gardiner of '82 who 
had wrung from the Protestant Parliament the first 
concessions to the Catholics. And this was his reward. 
The sight of their commander, thus brutally mutilated, 
drove the militia into fury ; they had generally behaved 
excellently in action, but when the fighting was over 
they could be no longer restrained. The carnage was 
now shocking. The troops were exasperated and could 
not be stopped. The scene became too hideous to be 
described. The battle had raged for eleven hours ; it 
began at four in the morning and lasted until three in 
the afternoon, when it was at last over. Musgrave, in 
his " History of the Bebellion" (vol. ii., c. 16), placed 
the numbers of the rebels who were killed in the fight 
and after it at 2,600. 

The North Cork in this action lost in killed and 
wounded nearly 200 officers and men. 

It will be remembered that the rebels when encamped 
at Carrickbyrne had seized many of the Protestants of the 
neighbourhood and had shut them up in Captain King's 
house at Scullabogue. One hundred and eighty-four of 
them, chiefly old men, women, and children, who had 
been taken because they were too helpless to escape, 
were confined in a barn thirty-four feet long and fifteen 


wide. Amongst those were the wives and children of 
the hated " North Cork " men who had fallen into the 
insurgents' hands. 

When the first check occurred, June 5, '98, in the 
streets of New Ross, a party of the insurgents, who were 
cowards as well as savages, turned their backs and ran. 
Before nine in the morning they came panting to the 
door of Scullabogue declaring that the day was lost, 
and that they had brought orders for the prisoners to 
be put to death, as they might otherwise be dangerous 
— the miserable beings who had been pent up there 
through a summer's afternoon and must have been 
in a condition in which death would be a relief to most 
of them. In the barn thev were at that moment 
crushed so close together that their bodies supported 
each other, and they could neither sit nor lie down. 
The doors were barred on the outside, and the rebels 
with their pikes thrust blazing faggots into the 
thatch. The majority must have been instantly 
suffocated. Those who were near the walls sought 
chinks aud cracks for air, but were driven back by 
pike-points thrust into the openings. One little child 
crawled under the door and was escaping, when a rebel 
ran a pike into it as a peasant does a pitchfork into a 
cornsheaf and tossed it back into the flames. A woman 
who came four days later to look for the remains of her 
husband and son, found the ruins of the barn full of 
blackened bodies all in a standing posture, an un- 
intended confirmation of the received estimate of the 
number of those who perished there. D 


Battle of Arklow, June 10th, 1798. 

The check at New Ross had, for the present, saved 
Waterford and Kilkenny. Colonel L'Estrange had 
blocked the road into Kildare, but Arklow was un- 
garrisoned ; and at all hazards it was necessary to open 
the passage to Arklow. General Needham reached the 
town on the 6th of June with the Cavan Militia. He 
gathered up as many men as he could find, and armed 
a few additional volunteers and yeomen, but with all 
his efforts the force in Arklow remained inferior to that 
which had so hardly defended New E-oss, while Father 
John's rebel division was far superior, and had he come 
on to Arklow at once, he could easily have overwhelmed 
Needham ; happily he had lingered on the road burning 
Protestant houses, and at midnight, between the 8th 
and 9th of June, three hundred men belonging to the 
Durham Fencibles arrived under Colonel Skerritt. The 
Durham was the most distinguished regiment in Ireland. 
When it was called on for service in Wexford, the rebels 
were so conscious of its value that they placed 7,000 
men in ambush to destroy it, but Skerritt brought his 
men safely through, and with the addition of the 


Durham, General Needham's force was raised to 1,600 
men ; of these 120 were the survivors of Sir Watkin 
Wynn's Ancient Britons, the rest consisted of 800 Irish 
Militia, 300 Arklow Yeomanry, 100 Scotch Regulars 
and the Durham Regiment. 

Arklow stands at the mouth of the Avoca river, which 
runs down out of the Wicklow Hills, and then falls into 
the sea at Arklow. The river is crossed by a bridge 
over which passed the only available road for a large 
body of men from Wexford into Wicklow, and over this 
bridge lay Father John's way if he meant to reach 

Needham's position was simple. Skerritt and the 
Durhams, with a party of the Antrim Militia, under 
Colonel O'Hara, and three six-pounder guns, held the 
town of Gorey. A barricade of carts had been placed 
in the street, and the men had been thrown out on 
either side of it. Sheltered among the hedges and 
cabins, two companies of the " North Cork," with 
another gun, covered the back of the town, and a 
squadron of dragoons was across the bridge out of shot 
range on the Wicklow side of the river to be used as 
occasion might serve. The fight began on the sea side ; 
the right column of the rebels came plunging along the 
sands ; the green banners waving ; the priests with 
pistols and crucifixes ; the Irish cry rising and falling 
in fitful cadences like the swell of an iEolian harp. 
They had no cattle with them, and, as at Ross, with 
their first rush they drove the soldiers back. They fired 


a row of fisherman's cabins at the end of the street. A 
piquet of Ancient Britons had to gallop through the 
flames in retreating, and, unable to reach the bridge, 
had to swim their horses through the river. The road 
turns at a right angle as it reaches the town, and, as 
the rebels rounded the corner, they were received with 
a fire which staggered them and drove them back. 
They formed again and again, they fought their way 
desperately to the bridge foot — recoiled, and again 
advanced, but could never pass that point. On their 
last retreat the dragoons were let loose upon them, and 
cut them down as they scattered among the sand hills. 
The attack on the Gorev road was more successful, and 
the fighting more severe. Father Michael Murphy and 
his brother priests here distinguished themselves. 
Political lay conspirators in Ireland have been magnifi- 
cent on the platform, but have uniformly been found 
wanting in the field. The courage of their opinions was 
the Catholic peasantry, and their natural chiefs the 
clergy. The battery behind the barricade completely 
swept the road. Twice the priests led on their followers 
through musket shot, round shot and grape, to the 
very muzzles of the guns, the priests coming so close 
that they shot the gunners at their posts with their 
pistols. Twice they failed — the second time with such 
desperate loss that they wavered and sought shelter among 
the walls. Father Michael seized a standard with a 
blazoned cross upon it, and, " Liberty or Death." Con- 
spicuous on horseback, he rode out, and dragged from 


his pocket a handful of balls, which he swore he had 
caught as they reached him. " Come on, boys," he 
cried, " the heretic bullets can never hurt you. You 
are fighting for your God and Mother Church." A 
third time they charged, with a contempt of death that 
was really admirable. They seemed determined to 
take the guns, when a round shot, against which even 
Father Michael's spells could not avail, caught him and 
his horse, and hurled them into ruin. Sullenly and 
slowly the rebels then drew back, leaving the ground 
covered with their dead. Even yet they might have 
tried once more, but it grew dark, and night, rather 
than defeat, ended an engagement more desperate than 
even the battle of New Boss had been. 

General Needham reported that he had held his 
ground. He could say no more, and he added that he 
expected to be attacked again with thrice the number of 
assailants* on the following morning. 

* Needham's letter to General Lake, June 10. Musgrave's " History 
of Irish Rebellion, '98." 

A letter from Lord Castlereagh to Mr. "Wickham of this date 
(June 12th, '98) states that the Cabinet had roused themselves at 
last. The mail on the evening of the 11th brought word that the 
4 ' Guards" were on their way, and that other regiments were preparing 
to follow. The number of the insurgents is immense, so great as to 
make it prudent to assemble a very considerable force before an 
attempt is made to penetrate this difficult and enclosed country. The 
conduct of the Militia and Yeomanry has exceeded our most sanguine 
expectations. A very few of the Yeomanry have been corrupted, 
but in no instance have the Militia failed to show the most determined 

Vinegar Hill, June 21st, '98. 

At three o'clock on the morning of June 2 1st, accord- 
ing to General Lake's dispositions, Vinegar Hill was 
stormed, and the columns closed in on the Irish camp. 
The divisions of Generals Dundas and Loftus came 
down the east bank of the Slaney, and spread over a 
front of almost over a mile, and as they approached the 
hill, formed round it, and General Johnstone came up 
simultaneously from Ballymakessy. The rebel army, 
1,600 strong, was drawn up on the open ground on the 
brow. General Lake with Dundas attacked on the east 
side, Sir James Duff with part of General Loftus' 
division, on the north-west. On three sides they forced 
their way simultaneously up the slope. The rebels held 
their ground for an hour and a half with moderate firm- 
ness. Lake's horse was killed under him early in the 
action. Father Clinch of Enniscorthy, an enormous 
man on a tall white horse, specially distinguished him- 
self. But successive defeats had cooled the courage 
which had been so eminent at Arklow and New Ross. 
There was no longer the contempt of death which will 
make even the least disciplined enemy formidable. 


Lord Koden singled out Father Clinch and killed him. 
The rebels were afraid of being surrounded ; and seeing 
the southern side of the hill still open, they fled down 
it, and escaped through Needham's Gap to Wexford 
from the scene of their brief and wild supremacy. The 
army rested for the day on the ground, burying the 
dead and examining, with ever- gathering indignation, 
the traces of the butcheries which had been perpetrated 
there. The rebels with their surviving generals, Father 
John, once invincible, now twice beaten, and savage in 
his despair ; John Hay, Edward Fitzgerald, and Father 
Kerne, streamed away down the east side of the Slaney. 
Some crossed the river at Carrick Ferry, three miles 
above Wexford ; some went on to the bridge and rushed 
mad and furious into the town, threatening vengeance 
on every Protestant still in their hands. It would have 
gone hard with the prisoners there ; but on the other 
side General Moore was coming on from Taghmon. Two 
hours at most would bring him to the gates. Bishop 
Caulfield and his priests were energetic enough now to 
prevent a renewal of the murders. If Moore came up 
when such work was goiDg forward, the town might pay 
for it as it paid before. They turned out into the 
streets, exhorting, praying, threatening, imploring the 
armed insurgents to leave the town while there was 
time, and to give no fresh provocation to the soldiers. 
The cause, they said, was plainly lost for the present. Lord 
Kingsborough, commanding the North Cork Militia, 
had promised that life and property should be respected 


if no more blood was shed. For the sake of Ireland, 
for the sake of their holy religion, for the sake of all 
they held dear on earth or heaven, they besought the 
rebels to spare the city the risk of being stormed and 
sacked by the bloody Orangemen. Their prayers 
prevailed, and in prevailing left them with the less 
excuse for their apathy on the preceding day. Towards 
sunset part of the rebels filed back over the bridge out 
of the town. Dixon, their leader, and his wife, on 
horseback, threw themselves in their way, praying them 
to stay at least till they had dispatched the remaining 
prisoners. They were borne away in the crowd, the 
women screaming, " We shall conquer yet ; my 
* Saviour ' tells me we must conquer." These wretches 
went north to Gorey, where they committed a frightful 
massacre on the unfortunate Protestant inhabitants 
who, imagining themselves safe in the rear of the army, 
had returned to their homes. Thence breaking into 
smaller parties, they made for the Wicklow mountains. 
The rest— the remainder mainly of the army which 
had fought at Yinegar Hill — rallying under the inde- 
fatigable Father John, slipped away behind General 
Moore who had halted two miles from the town, and 
made their way over the Barrow into Kilkenny, carry- 
ing havoc and destruction along with them. Moore, 
in the twilight, entered Wexford after the insurgents had 
all left it. The scene was described as most affecting. 
The windows were crowded with women who had been 
expecting massacre, The prisoners in the gaol heard 


in the noise of the approaching troops the summons as 
they supposed, to death upon the bridge. When the 
door was thrown open they saw the king's uniform and 
knew that they were saved. The insurgents, who 
escaped with Father John over the Barrow, after ravag- 
ing part of Kilkenny and finding the peasants contrary 
to their expectations, disinclined to join them, doubled 
back into Wexford and thence into the Wicklow Moun- 
tains, where, divided into roving gangs of murderous 
banditti, they protraeted through the summer the bloody 
and miserable struggle. 

24:th June, 1798.— -The North Cork, numbering 
100 men,* and a party of yeomanry of about the same 
strength under command of General Dunn, defended 
the town of Athy, and pursued the rebels during the 
night ; and although unable to come up with the 
flying enemy, they were driven into the grasp of Major 
Mathews, who had marched from Maryborough in the 
Queen's County, to co-operate with Sir Charles Asgill, 
his force comprising 400 of his own regiment, the 
Queen's Co. Militia, Royal Downshire, the Maryborough 
Infantry, under Captain Gore, and the Ballyfin Cavalry, 
under Captain Poole. The rebels were observed in 
great numbers on the heights above Doonane, but as it 
was now evening, the troops rested in the town of 
Timahoe for the night, but determined to bring the 
rebels into action the next morning. Sir Charles Asgill 
recalled the troops to Maryborough ; but acting on his 

* Maxwell's Historv, 


own responsibility and with great judgment, Major 
Mathews held his ground, and urged Sir Charles to make 
a joint attack with him next morning, and while he 
assailed them from Doonane the Major would make his 
attack by Timahoe ; but Sir Charles thought his troops 
were too much fatigued to do so. 

The rebels, however, retreated to Goresbridge, in the 
County of Kilkenny, and Major Mathews marched at 
midnight to intercept them, and at daybreak they were 
discovered halted on Kilcomney Hill. The attack was 
begun by the Downshire Battalion guns opening fire, and 
the rebels fell back ; while endeavouring to reform they 
were attacked by Asgill's troops in the rear. They 
broke, fled, and were cut down almost without any 
resistance, the pursuit being continued for two hours 
with fatal effect. This was a crushing blow to the 
Southern insurrection. All was lost — baggage, arms, 
provisions, and ammunition — all had fallen into the 
hands of the loyal troops. 

Father John Murphy, the Rebel Commander-in- 
Chief, who fled from the field of battle, was taken at 
an alehouse in the town of Goresbridge by three yeo- 
men, one of them named McCabe, and after a savage 
resistance was finally overpowered and brought a 
prisoner to Tullow, the head-quarters of Sir James Duff. 
He was brought before that General who was seated, 
surrounded by his Aides-de-Camp, Colonels Foster and 
Eden, the Earl of Roden, and Captain McClintock. 
His conduct even in their presence was most brutal, 


and tie was taken from the room in a state of demoniacal 
rage and fury ; and in a few hours afterwards he was 
hanged in the Market-place, his head fixed on the 
Market-house and his body burned. He was a man 
about 45 years old ; light complexioned, bald-pated, 
and about 5 feet 9 inches high, powerfully made, uniting 
strength and agility. He was exceedingly irascible, 
and when in a passion had the aspect of a tiger. His 
vestments, his pix, his oil-stock, and a small crucifix 
were found in his pocket.* 

Gordon, " the historian/' states that the body of 
Father Murphy was cut open, the heart taken out and 
roasted, and the fat melted and used by some of the 
Ancient Britons' yeomanry cavalry for greasing their 

* Musgrave. 


Landing of the French. 

On the ever- memorable 22nd August, 1798, three 
large vessels, flying English colours, entered Killala 
Bay. They were at first mistaken for English ships 
of war, but shortly the inhabitants of the town were 
undeceived by the landing of three hundred French 
soldiers within a mile of it, who, under command of 
General Humbert, at once pushed on, and after driving 
out the garrison, which consisted of about fifty yeomen, 
who offered but a feeble resistance, occupied the town, 
and requisitioned everything they wanted — especially 
the horses. This force was but the advance guard, and 
the remainder, about twelve hundred, disembarked 
during the day. They were mostly of the Army of 
Italy, who had recently fought under Buonaparte in 
that country. They were eagerly joined by the Irish 
rebels, and 5,000 stand of arms were distributed 
amongst them, but as a general rule they preferred the 
pike to the French fusils. Humbert, the leader of the 
expedition, was a good officer, apparently master of his 
art ; a bold dashing fellow, of handsome exterior, and 


in the full vigour of life. Many of the British generals 
had yet to learn a good deal of the art of war, and 
Humbert gave them a practical lesson on the 27th of 
August, 1798, at Castlebar, in the county of Mayo ; for 
whilst in false confidence that the invaders must 
advance by the high road from Ballina, he suddenly 
wheeled to the right, crossed the mountains, and 
appeared in close column crowning the ridge. He 
covered the advance of his Grenadiers by a body of the 
rebels in French uniforms to draw awav from his own 
troops the fire of the artillery, which had to a great 
measure checked the rapidity of his advance. He 
made himself well acquainted with the country between 
him and the British, and knew every point of cover for 
his brave soldiery — the hardy veterans of many a well- 
fought field of Italy and the Rhine. Humbert com- 
menced deploying rapidly from the centre, with open 
files, until he formed line most in rank entire — nearlv 
parallel with the front of the Royal position. 

The fatal mistake of this disgraceful day was made 
here ; for instead of holding their ground quietly, and 
allowing the enemy to close, the British opened a 
useless fire at a distance which rendered it perfectly 
ineffective. The French at once saw the want of 
judgment, and rushing forward en tirailleur, they 
seized some hedges in front of the Royal line, ex- 
tended rapidly, gradually outflanking it ; and now 
a disgraceful scene ensued. The line exhibited general 
unsteadiness, and notwithstanding the excellent artillery 


practice, the supporting infantry gave way, leaving the 
guns exposed to a rush from the enemy ; and, as 
might be expected, the guns were captured, and the 
troops made of! pele mele towards the town, pursued 
by the French cavalr} T , by whom numbers of them 
were slaughtered. Although no attempt was made to 
follow them further than the town of Castlebar, a panic 
seemed to possess the troops, who retreated so quickly 
as to reach the town of Tuam — thirty miles from the 
scene of action — on the night of the same day. This 
occurrence, no doubt, gave rise to the ridiculous state- 
ment in Lever's " Charles O'Malley," " that the North 
Cork ran away fifteen miles further than the enemy 
followed them." But according to Maxwell, in his 
" History of the Irish Rebellion of 1798," an officer of 
the Carabineers, 6th Dragoon Guards, with sixty of his 
men, after some refreshment in Tuam, retired still 
further towards Athlone, and arrived there at one 
o'clock on Tuesday, the 29th, having covered a 
distance of 63 miles — the distance between Castlebar 
and Athlone — in 27 hours. Beside that of the Cara- 
bineers, of which no return has been made, the 
Royalist loss in this disgraceful affair, it has been 
stated, was 53 killed, 34 wounded, and 279 missing. 
Among the prisoners and missing were 2 majors, 
3 captains, 6 lieutenants, 3 ensigns, 2 officers of 
the staff, 10 sergeants, and 2 drummers. Of the 
privates missing the greater part belonged to the 
Longford and Kilkenny Militia, who afterwards 


deserted to the enemy. The Boyal troops were 
commanded by Generals Lord Lake, Taylor, and 
Hutcheson, and were greatly superior in number to 
the French, but Humbert's estimate of the British com- 
manding officers will give a key to the secret of their 
defeat. " I met," he said " many generals in Ireland, 
but the only ' general ' I met, after all, was Colonel 

Humbert evacuated Castlebar on the 3rd of Septem- 
ber, 1798, accompanied on the march by a mob of 
rebels, who deserted him every hour by twenties. His 
object now appeared to be the occupation of the town of 
Sligo, within five miles of which lies the town of 
Collooney, where Colonel Vereker and his regiment — 
the City of Limerick Militia — a corps of yeomanry 
and two curricle guns — a force not exceeding 300 men 
— gallantly engaged the French. The result was, how- 
ever, what might have been expected. Vereker's right 
flank was turned, and he was obliged to retreat across 
the river, after keeping up a sharp and spirited action 
for upwards of an hour. 

To the British Commander the action was most 
creditable, and, although he was obliged to retreat with- 
out his guns, he inflicted a severe and discouraging loss 
upon the enemy. 

Four days had passed since the French and their 
auxiliaries had abandoned Castlebar, and during that 
time they had been continually harrassed, and so closely 

* Maxwell's Hist. 


were those gallant fellows pressed that a fusilade was 
almost incessant between their rere guard and the 
advance of the Royalists. General Lake was very strong 
in cavalry, which enabled him to hang closely on their 
rere, from which it was not possible to shake him off, 
and so vigorously were the valiant Frenchmen pushed 
that their leader was obliged to halt the head of his 
column and receive an attack from the advancing 

8th September, 1798. — -While forming the leading 
division, the rere guard, under General Sazarin, were 
overtaken within half a mile of Ballinamuck, and 
that officer who commanded, en second, at once sur- 
rendered, and, by so doing, exercised a sound discretion, 
and prevented a useless expenditure of human blood. 
The sacrifice most painful to a soldier's feeling would 
never have been made by him until every hope was 
over, and, indeed, there was no alternative, as Lord 
Cornwallis's army — 30,000 strong — had almost sur- 
rounded them, and Lord Lake had advanced so rapidly 
in pursuit as to arrive at Ballinamuck in time to co- 
operate with Cornwallis in compelling the surrender of 
Humbert's gallant little army. 

" The following circumstances," says Musgrave, 
" attended the surrender of the French army at Ballina- 
muck — Hompesche's dragoons and Lord Eoden's fox- 
hunters, yeomanry, were the cavalry that hung upon 
Humbert's rear on the retreat from Castlebar, and were 
the troops to whom the French first showed signs of 


willingness to surrender, and accordingly after sound of 
trumpet, which was answered by the French, Lord 
Roden and General Crawford then came up to the 1st 
and 2nd Brigade of the French army, who surrendered 
to about 300 cavalry, under his lordship and General 
Crawford. After this they advanced with about 20 
dragoons and took possession of three French guns. 
Shortly afterwards Humbert rallied his Grenadiers, 
consisting of about 400 men, the only part of the army, 
except the Chasseurs, that had not surrendered, who 
surrounded Lord Roden and his 20 dragoons. They 
were given in charge to the hussars while they were 
their prisoners, which lasted about half an hour. The 
French officers loaded the United Irishmen, their 
allies, with execrations for having deceived and dis- 
appointed them by inviting them to undertake a fruitless 
expedition. They also declared that the people of 
Ireland were the most treacherous and cowardly they 
had ever met. 

From the commencement of Humbert's movement 
towards the North until his surrender, not an hour 
passed without the vengeance of the Royalists falling on 
the deluded wretches who still continued rather to 
embarrass than assist the French army while retreating. 
Every straggler that was overtaken was cut down by 
the Hompeschers and Foxhunters who formed the 
advance of the Royal Army, and when the urvaders 
laid down their arms at Ballin amuck, if blood could 
have atoned for treason, it was fearfully exacted, for the 



sword and the halter were used with unsparing hands. 
During the pursuit of Humbert, the rebels preserved 
not even the semblance of order, but straggled as they 
pleased, it was not unusual to find them sleeping in 
dozens in the fields, some from fatigue, some from 
drunkenness. "No questions were asked. The coup 
de sabre while on the march ; the arm of the next 
tree, when halted, ended all inquiry. At Ballinamuck 
voe victis was pronounced ;* no quarter was given, 
and, to use Musgrave's words, dreadful havoc was made 
among the unfortunate wretches who were excluded 
from mercy, and cut down by the hundred. 

The force of the rebels accompanying the French 
army is said to have consisted of 1,500 men at the time 
of this surrender, and the troops of General Humbert 
were found, when prisoners, to consist of 748 privates 
and 96 officers, a loss of 288 being sustained since their 
first landing at Killala. 

The only troops actually engaged at Ballinamuck 
were the Light Battalion and the Armagh Militia. A 
French standard fell into the hands of the light 
company of the Armagh, and is still kept with the 
regimental colours in Gosford Castle. 

* Musgrave's History. 

Humbert's Surrender. 

27 th October 1798. — After the surrender of the French 
army immediate steps were taken by the Irish adminis- 
tration for sending the French prisoners of war back 
to their own country, and just before^ and for the last 
time, that an invading force of French Republicans 
appeared on the western shores of Ireland, and the 
same frigates from which Humbert and his gallant 
followers had debarked on the evening of the 22nd of 
August, once more entered Killala Bay, on the 27th of 
October, 1798, with, as was reported, 2,000 men on 
board. When they sailed from Brest intelligence had 
not been received by the French Directory of Humbert's 
surrender, and this force had been dispatched to assist 
and to co-operate with him on the north-east coast of 
Ireland ; but their anchors had scarcely reached the 
bottom, when several British vessels appeared in the offing 
and obliged them to stand out to sea without holding any 
communication with the shore, and then managed to 
escape by superior sailing, and after that failure the 
French Executive seem to consider any future attempts 


on Ireland as hopeless, and virtually the Irish Rebellion 
of 1798 was at an end. Some small affairs did occur 
in the north of the kingdom occasionally afterwards, 
but were immediately suppressed by the now over- 
whelming force at the disposal of the authorities in the 
country. This fact, together with the dread of falling 
into the hands of the King's troops or any others in 
authority, stamped out any idea of further armed 
resistance to law and order at the time ; and it must be 
said that terrible acts of hurried justice were daily 
witnessed even in the metropolis ; the lamp irons, or 
the scaffolding on the bridges, were turned into 
temporary gallows ; corporal punishment, and even 
torturous measures, used — sometimes from vague 
suspicion, at others from private enmity alone. A few 
of the instances may be stated as follows, and to the 
shame of the North Cork Regiment be it said that 
their introduction of the " pitch cap " torture was 
about one of the worst ; it was used in the county of 
Wexford on any person having his hair cut short, 
called a " croppy," as the soldiers designated the United 
Irishmen, and on being pointed out by some loyal 
neighbour was immediately seized, brought into a guard 
house where caps either of coarse linen or strong brown 
paper besmeared inside with pitch were always kept 
ready for use. The unfortunate victim had one of 
these, well heated, compressed upon his head, and when 
judged of a proper degree of coolness, so that it could 
not be easily pulled off, the sufferer was turned out 


amid the horrid acclamations of the merciless tor- 

In the centre of the capital a heart-rending spectacle 
was presented of a human being rushing from the 
infernal depot of torture, besmeared with a burning 
preparation of turpentine and pitch, plunging in his 
distraction into the Liffey, and terminating at once his 
suffering and his life. 

The indiscriminating punishment inflicted on the 
Wexford leaders, without exception, has been heavily 
condemned. That men like Harvey, Keogh, Colclough, 
and Grogan were radically infected with republican 
principles cannot be questioned, but like hundreds 
of theoretic politicians of that day, it is more than 
probable that their treasonable intents would have been 
confined to the dinner table, and not displayed in the 
field, for men jested at the dinner table, after the ladies 
retired, then just as they do now, unconscious that the 
sword was suspended over them by a hair, and never 
dreamed that within a few brief months a boon com- 
panion, sitting at the same board, might, like Hamlet, 
apostrophize the only remnant of their mortality that 
was left : " That skull had a tongue in it, and could 
speak and sing once. How the knave jowls it to the 
ground as if it were Cain's jawbone that did the first 

The North Cork Regiment had seen a good deal of 


* See -"Lives of the United Irishmen," chapter ix. 


actual hard fighting for the past twelve months ; had 
fought well in three general actions, viz. : — New Ross, 
Arklow, and Vinegar Hill. At Arklow Lord Kings- 
borough, afterwards Earl of Kingston, the commanding 
officer, was taken prisoner by the rebels, and kept as a 
hostage, but was afterwards liberated and sent to General 
Moore. During his absence, however, the regiment 
lacked nothing in the way of being well commanded, 
as Lord Kingsale most ably filled his place. The 
recruiting of the corps was, as may be supposed, a 
matter of some difficulty, but the losses were quickly 
made good and the full strength of the regiment well 
kept up, and since the outbreak of the rebellion six 
companies had been added, raised, as at the embodi- 
ment of 1793, by Government levy, and the number 
now stood at 1,100 men. Notwithstanding the havoc 
made in the ranks at the three battles last stated, 
besides the affairs at Prosperous, Oulart, Enniscorthy, 
&c, no regiment in the service of King George had 
given and received more hard knocks during '98 than 
the " North Cork;" but fighting, like everything 
else, must have its limit, and after the defeat of the 
French fleet, under Commodore Bompart, off Lough 
Swilly, by Sir J. B. Warren, Bart., on the 12th of 
October, public confidence became much restored, and 
although a large force was necessarily kept up in the 
country, the " North Cork " regiment was not again 
called upon to meet an enemy m the field, but had the 
usual routine of garrison duty to perform throughout 


the kingdom, and early in the year 1799 the regiment 
moved into the County of Meath, head-quarters at 
Trim, under the command of Colonel R. N. Fitzgerald, 
who had been appointed to the chief command of the 
corps since the previous month of November, just 
after the resignation of Lord Kingsborough, with 
Lieut.-Colonel W. H. M. Hodder, as second in com- 
mand, since the retirement of Lord Kingsale, commis- 
sion dated 15th January, 1799. The regiment was 
then qua rtered in various parts of the North of Ireland 
for some two years, and afterwards sent into the county 
of Kilkenny, where the good conduct and the general 
appearance of the corps elicited much approbation, 
as the following extract from Brigade orders amply 
shows : — 

Brigade Orders. 

"Kilkenny, 5th October, 1803. 
" Brigadier- General Sir Charles Green desires to ex- 
press his great satisfaction at the soldierlike and hand- 
some appearance of the North Cork Regiment under 
arms this day. The progress they have made in their 
field discipline was also strongly marked by the correct 
manner in which they performed their different evolu- 
tions, and upon the whole the Brigadier- General has 
so much reason to be pleased with the North Cork 
Regiment that he requests Lieut.-Colonel Hodder, the 
commanding officer, Major Atkin, and the rest of the 
officers, may accept of his best thanks for the zeal and 


attention they have shown in the discharge of their 
different duties, and he further assures them that in 
the event of facing an enemy, he shall think himself 
fortunate in having so good a corps under his com- 

" Signed by order, 

" J. B. Campbell, Brigade Major. 

" Edward Heard, Capt. and Adjutant, 
" North Cork Begt." 


Battle of Assaye, and Lord Cathcart's Expedition 

to Hanover. 

November, 1803. — The North Cork Regiment was 
next quartered in the King's County, head-quarters at 
Banagher, with detachments at various towns in the 
county. Just at this time the British Government was 
actively engaged with the affairs of India ; the battle 
of Assaye had been fought — one of the first of the 
glorious victories of "Wellington — then Major- General 
Wellesley, where, on the 23rd September, 1803, he 
defeated Scindiah, the Marhatta Chief, having an army 
of 50,000 men, with a force of only 8,000. The 
military operations in India required every soldier 
that England could spare from the year 1803 to 1806, 
when the campaign in that country was happily brought 
to a close by the negotiations of Lord Lake. The Irish 
Militia contributed largely to the number of men 
required to fill the place of those who fell during that 
war, and the North Cork volunteered numerously. 

The British Government, about this time, having 
determined to effect a diversion on the Continent, an 
expedition was prepared and placed under the com- 
mand of Lord Cathcart ; but the disastrous consequences 
which resulted from the defeat of the combined armies 
of Austria and Prussia, at Austerlitz, by the French 
under the Great Emperor Napoleon, on the 2nd of 
December, 1805, rendered it advisable to abandon the 
attempt, and accordingly the expedition returned from 
Hanover, immediately after that great event. 

■ ■mi 

AUGUST, 1808. 





The Peninsular War. 

The peace of Europe was at this period in a very 
unstable condition. Napoleon Buonaparte,* "the 
wonder of an age/' had raised a mighty empire on 
the ruins of a republic ; his power, his glory, were at 
their zenith ; the movements of his armies were but a 
march to victory ; half Europe was at his feet, and 
thrones and kings rose and fell at his dictation — with 
one solitary exception — all cowered before the magic 
of his name, and while her political horizon became 
every hour more heavily overcast, Great Britain main- 
tained, with inflexible resolution, the attitude she had 
from the first assumed; and though every banner 
beside her own veiled its glories before the victorious 
eagles of the Corsican, the leopards of England were 
seen waving proudly — 

" Far as the breeze could bear, or billows foam." 

The outbreak of the war between England and 
France by the battle of Rolica, August 17th, 1808, and 

* Maxwell's " Life of Wellington." 


the almost certain long continuance of hostilities in Spain 
and the Peninsula, caused great anxiety to the British 
Government, and an immense strain was put upon the 
military resources of the country. The Irish Militia 
responded cheerfully to the call for volunteers to the 
regiments of the line, and during the six years which 
occupied the attention of the world by the " Peninsular 
War/' the North Cork Regiment contributed as many 
as 510 officers and men to swell the ranks of Welling- 
ton's victorious army ; and well may this " great 
General " have said " that some of his best soldiers 
were raw recruits from the Irish Militia."* 

The great events which occurred on the Continent, 
and the glorious achievements of the British arms in 
Spain, Portugal, and France, up to the capitulation of 
Paris, and the abdication of Napoleon at Fontainebleau, 
in March, 1814, are mere matters of history. And the 
decisive victory over the French at Waterloo in the 
following year by the combined armies of Great Britain 
and Prussia brought peace to Europe — 

" The grave of France — the field of Waterloo." 

After the battle of Waterloo, June 18th, 1815, the 
standing army of Britain was much reduced, and many 
regiments of militia were disembodied ; but the North 
Cork Regiment was suffered to remain in its integral 
state until the following year, when the corps was dis- 
embodied on the 1st of April, 1816. 

* Napier. 


The following is a list of the officers of the regiment 
when disembodied 1st April, 1816 : — 

Rank and Names. 

Colonel — W. H. M. Hodder, died. 

Lieut.-Colonel — W. H. M. Hodder, remained in com- 
Lieut.-Colonel — Sir John Fitzgerald, supernumerary ; 

resigned 24th July, 1815. 

Majors — Norman dniacke. 

„ John Roe, supernumerary; resigned 

24th July, 1815. 

Captains — Edward Hoare. 

Cooper Penrose. 
Joseph Coghlan. 
William Dorman. 
Michael Roberts. 
Thomas Herrick. 
John Hyde. 
Thomas Cooke 
Maxwell Atkins. 

Lieuts — John Boy ce. 

Robert Starkey. 
Thos. Spires. 
James Hudson. 
James Cotter. 
Robert Atkins. 
Daniel Kirby. 




„ Richard Hickson. 

„ John Wallis. 


Lieuts — Wm. Collis. 

George Jessop. 

George Heard. 

Ensigns — Edward Heard 

„ Richard Lane. 

Frederick Campbell. 

Joseph. Atkins. 


„ — Roberts. 

„ James Atkins. 

„ Henry Collins. 

„ David Hodson. 

Paymaster — Henry Atkins. 

Adjutant — Captain Edward Heard. 

Quarter-Master — Edward Ring. 

Surgeon — Chermside. 

Assist. -Surgeon — Lloyd. 








War in the Crimea. 

After an interval of " thirty-nine years " the peace 
of Europe was again disturbed. The Czar Nicholas of 
Russia moved, it is said, by prophecies, which assigned 
to the dominion of the Turks in Europe a period of 400 
years from the taking of Constantinople in 1453, 
thought the time was come for seizing, after he had in 
vain proposed to divide with England, the inheritance 
of the " Sick Man," as he called the Sublime Porte. He 
marched his armies into the principalities of Moldavia 
and Wallachia, and his Black Sea fleet issuing suddenly 
from Sebastopol, destroyed the Turkish Navy at Sinope. 
In the following spring, England and France declared 
war in defence of Turkey, and sent expeditions to the 
Baltic and the Euxine to adduce u the last reason of 

The noble defence of the line of the Danube by the 
Turks under Omar Pasha " left the allied armies 
available for an attempt to destroy the fortress of Se- 


bastopol (or Sevastopol) —which means ' The City of the 
Emperor or Czar, Se^o-aros being the Greek equivalent 
for the Latin Augustus '* whence Russia dominated 
the Euxine and menaced Constantinople." 

The allied armies landed on the western coast of 
the Crimea — the ancient Taurica Chersonesus — and 
gained a complete victory at the Alma over the Russians 
under Prince Mentschikoff, on the 20th of September, 
1854 ; and they might have followed the routed army 
into Sabastopol had they known the weakness of its 
defenders. Instead of this they marched round the 
city and prepared to attack it from the south. The 
respite was improved by the resolution of Prince Gort- 
schakoff and the genius of Todleben, and the grand 
attack of the allies by land and sea was repulsed, Oct. 
17th. The siege that followed was signalized by the 
rash but splendid charge of our Light Cavalry Brigade 
under Lord Cardigan on the Russian guns at the Battle 
of Balaklava, October 25th, and by the stern, 
triumphant resistance of the British infantry to the 
attack of the Russians at Inkerman before daybreak on 
November 5th ; but the terrible sufferings of the 
English army during the winter brought much discredit 
on our military organization. On January 10th the 
Anglo-French alliance was joined by the King of 
Sardinia, whose troops, under General La Marmora, 
" bore the chief part of the victorv of the Tchernava ' 
(August 16th, 1855). A successful assault was made 

* Kinglake. 

on the defences by the allies on the 8th of September, 
and on the following: night Prince Gortschakoff 
withdrew in good order to the fort on the north 
side of the harbour, and the allied army entered 

The Czar Nicholas at the age of 59 had succumbed 
to disappointment and to the cold of which he boasted 
as his ally, March 2nd, 1855 ; and his son, Alexander, 
was not able to continue the contest after the fall of 
Sebastopol ; and on the 16th January, 1856, Russia 
accepted the basis of a peace which was signed at Paris, 
March 30th, 1856. 

By the Act of June 30th, 1852, for the re-organization 
of the militia, the entire construction of the force was 
materially altered, and by the subsequent Act of August, 
1854, the numbers and the uniforms of the regiments 
underwent a complete change. To the North Cork 
" was given the number 116, and their uniform changed 
to that of Rifles." 

January, 1855. — List of Officers. 

Colonel — Wm. H. M. Hodder, late 88th Foot. 
Lieut-Col. — Wm. St. Leger Alcock Stawell, late Capt. 
23rd Foot. 

Major — Robert Atkins, late Capt. 60th Foot. 

Captains — Robert Aldworth, late Capt. 94th Foot. 

,, Richard Lane Warren, late Lt. 35th Foot. 

John Robert Stawell, late Lt. 38th Foot. 
Fredric J. Rawlins, late Lt. 5th Foot. 


Captains — Ed. Braddell, late Capt. 70th Foot. 

St. Leger Barry, late Capt. 65th Foot. 
Spencer Geo. Walsh, lateLt. Rl. Marines. 
Poole Gabbett, late Lt. 31st Foot. 
J. Martin, late Capt. Rifle Brigade. 
Edward Hoare. 

Lieuts. — Charles Lyster. 

,, Dominick Sarsfield. 

„ Fred. J. Blackburne. 

,, Robert Pern 7 . 

,, John E. F. Alymer. 

„ Cornelius O'Callaghan. 


„ Chas. F. Knolles. 

,, John Foote. 



Thos. McCarthy. 

Ensigns. — Miles O'Reilly. 

,, Herbert Coghlan. 

,, Richard G. Creagh. 

„ James Geo. Anderson. 

William L. Howe. 

Richard W. Stokes. 

i > 

1 1 

Adjutant — Fred. M. Callaghan. 

Paymaster — Nil. 

Surgeon — James F. Uniacke, M.l). 

Assist.-Surg. — Francis L'Estrange. 

The embodiment of the militia to meet the emergency 
caused by the outbreak of the war in the Crimea was 
partial, not general, but the " North Cork w was one of 

the first regiments of the Irish militia selected for 
service, and, after a repose of 38 years, it was re- 
embodied, by voluntary enrolment, at Buttevant, in the 
county of Cork, on the 18th of December, 1854, under 
the chief command of Colonel Wm. Henry Moore 
Hodder, commission dated 1st March, 1831, formerly 
of the 88th Regiment (Connaught Bangers), with 
which gallant corps he served in the Peninsular War, 
and was present at the Battles of Talavera, Busaco, and 
Fuentes d'Onor, affairs of Foz d'Arouce and Sabugal, 
and the lines of Torres Vedras (medal and three 

This veteran was son of the officer who was second 
in command of the " North Cork " after the retirement 
of Lord Kinsale in 17JJ9. 

The regiment remained at Buttevant until the 2nd 
of June, 1855, during which short period the corps 
made great progress in its drill and discipline, under 
the untiring efforts of the indefatigable adjutant, 
Captain Frederick Marcus Callaghan, appointed 3rd 
November, 1854, formerly of the 60th Eoyal Rifles. 
From Buttevant the regiment moved to Limerick, from 
whence it got the route, on the 24th of July, for the 
Curragh Camp. On the 6th of December it was again 
moved, and arrived at the Camp, Aldershot, on the 9th 
December, 1855. Here it lay until the 9th April, 
1856, when the corps was sent to Weymouth, with 

•Hart's "Army List" (October, 1856), 


detachment at Portland, and on the 16th of June, 1856 
to Fermoy, where it arrived on the 21st June, and was 
disembodied in that garrison on the 29th August, 
1856. The number of volunteers given to the regular 
array during embodiment was 271. 







The Indian Mutiny. 

January, 1857. — The year 1857, destined to be one of 
unexampled atrocities, dawned tranquilly on the rulers 
of India, and the empire was supposed to be in a state 
of the most profound repose. Suddenly, from a cause 
apparently insignificant, the spark was applied to the 
mine on which we had been slumbering, and in a few 
months India was in a blaze. 

It had been determined to improve the efficiency of 
the native army by the introduction of the Enfield rifle, 
the cartridges of which required to be lubricated. 
They were made up for the rifles in the laboratory at 
Dumdum. On the 22nd of January Captain Wright 
informed Major Boutein, commanding the depot of 
musketry at that station, that a very unpleasant feeling 
existed among the Sepoys, who had been sent there for 
instruction regarding the grease used in preparing the 
cartridges. It appears that a mechanic attached to the 
magazine asked a Sepoy, of the 2nd Grenadiers, for 
water from his lotuh, or brass water pot ; the Sepoy 
refused it, on the ground that he did not know to what 
caste he belonged, when the mechanic immediately 


retorted, " You yourself will soon have no caste left, 
for you will be required to bite cartridges smeared with 
the fat of pigs and cows." However indifferent a 
Hindoo may be on the subject of his religious belief, 
he is frantic on any question of " caste/ ' and the man 
who would not hesitate to lampoon his gods for a con- 
sideration would regard the attempt to touch his lips 
with a piece of beef as an inexpiable offence. It was 
then discovered for the first time that a report had been 
disseminated through the native army that it was the 
design of Government to destroy the caste of the Sepoys 
by constraining them to bite off the end of greased 

General Hearsay, commanding the Presidency divi- 
sion, fully estimating the gravity of the crisis, lost not 
an hour in addressing the Deputy Adjutant- General of 
the Army on the subject, and, with a view of eradicating 
this impression from the minds of the Sepoys, proposed 
that the ingredients necessary for the preparation of 
the musket cartridge should be procured from the 
bazaar, and the Sepoys allowed to make it up them- 
selves. The Deputy Adjutant- General allowed three 
days to pass, and then forwarded it to the Military 
Secretary to the Government, who replied, on the 27th, 
that the Governor-General in Council sanctioned the 
proposal, and that it might be carried into effect, not 
only at Dumdum, but also at the stations of Umbala 
and Sealkote in the north-west. 

It was now, however, too late to remedy the mis- 


chief. By means of that active correspondence which 
was maintained with each other by men of the same 
caste and family in the various regiments, the alarm had 
already spread throughout the army, and it was 
universally believed that the greased cartridges were 
intended to destroy their caste, with a view of com- 
pelling them to embrace Christianity. 

General Hearsay held a Court of Enquiry at Barrack- 
pore to ascertain the cause of this universal disaffection, 
and he informed the Government that although the men 
expressed themselves to be perfectly satisfied, the con- 
viction that grease was used in the composition of the 
cartridges was now so deeply rooted in their minds 
that it would be both idle and unwise to attempt to 
remove it. The spirit of mistrust and disaffection had, 
in fact, reached that point at which every effort to 
correct it by explanation would only tend to confirm it, 
with the additional evil of being regarded as an index 
of pusillanimity. 

On the 10th of February the Sepoys at Barrackpore 
held a meeting on the parade ground at night to 
concert a general rising, when they proposed to 
murder all the Europeans, plunder the station, and 
proceed where they liked. General Hearsay again 
addressed the supreme Government in Calcutta in 
urgent terms, and affirmed that they had been dwell- 
ing at Barrackpore on a mine ready for explosion. 

He pointed out the extreme danger arising from the 
presence of four or five disaffected native regiments so 


close to the metropolis and quoted Sir Chas. Metcalf's 
memorable remark, " That we should wake some morn- 
ing and find India lost to the Crown of England." 

l§th February f 1857. — On the 19th of February the 
Mutiny burst forth at Berhampore. The 19th Regi- 
ment broke out into open revolt, seized their muskets, 
and rushed with loud yells on the parade ground. 

Colonel Mitchell, who commanded the regiment, had 
not a single European in the cantonment, but with the 
aid of two guns and 160 irregular horse who, from the 
circumstance of their enlistment and organization, were, 
in the early stages of the Mutiny, better affected 
towards the Government than the line, managed to 
smother the flame without bloodshed. 

Her Majesty's 84th Regiment was ordered up from 
Rangoon, and on its arrival at Calcutta, the 19th Regi- 
ment was directed to proceed from Berhampore to 
Barrackpore. All the regiments at Barrackpore were, 
however, tainted with disaffection ; but the 34th took 
the lead in the revolt, and on Sunday, 29th of March, a 
Sepoy named Mungul Punday, infuriated with intoxi- 
cating drugs, rushed to the parade ground and called 
on his comrades to come forward in defence of their 
religion. The European sergeant-major of the regi- 
ment advanced to seize him, while the quarter guard 
witnessed the scene without moving. The adjutant of 
the regiment then came to the rescue, but the Panday 
shot his horse, and then came a hand-to-hand conflict 
with both European officers. 


The Sepoys of the regiment, instead of supporting 
their officers, attacked them from behind, and they 
must have fallen victims to this murderous assault had 
not General Hearsay rescued them by his personal 
resolution and gallantry. 

On the arrival of the 19th at Barrackpore, the 
Queen's 84th, a wing of the 53rd, two batteries of 
artillery, and the Governor-General's body guard, were 
assembled on parade. 

General Hearsay, in obedience to the order of the 
Governor- General, then read the public order, which 
had been passed on the occasion. It stated that the 
native officers and men of the regiment had been 
guilty of open and defiant mutiny, and that the 
punishment decreed by the Supreme Government was 
that they should be discharged from the service, be 
deprived of their arms, receive their arrears of pay, and 
be required to quit the cantonment. It, moreover, 
directed that this sentence — so utterly inadequate to 
the offence — should be read at the head of every regi- 
ment in India. 

Five weeks were then allowed to pass without any 
decision on the conduct of the 34th Regiment. During 
this period of inaction the spirit of insubordination was 
rising to maturity throughout the Bengal Army. 

On the 9th of May all the disposable troops, Euro- 
pean and native, were assembled at Barrackpore, to 
witness the punishment of the mutinous 34th. Four 
hundred of the most culpable in that corps were called 


on the parade ; their crime, which was described as the 
most heinous a soldier could be guilty of, was then 
circumstantially detailed, after which they were paid 
up their arrears and discharged from the public service 
and ordered to be conveyed to Chinsurah, to which 
place their families and baggage were to be sent after 

Thus, on the spot where 33 years before the mutinous 
47th had expiated their crime under showers of grape 
and the sabres of the cavalry, the 19th and 34th, 
guilty of a more atrocious revolt, were requited by 
discharge from the service, accompanied by the receipt 
of all their arrears to the uttermost farthing. The 
conduct of the Government in 1824 nipped mutiny in 
the bud, while the conduct of the authorities in 1857 
rendered a revolt throughout the army under the 
existing state of feeling inevitable. 

8th Mai/, 1857. — On the 8th of May cartridges were 
served out to the 3rd Cavalry at Meerut ; they refused 
to accept them, though it was distinctly explained that 
they had not been smeared with grease. In fact, the 
army was now ripe for mutiny. 

On the 9th May, 85 of the recusants were tried by 
Court-Martial, and sentenced to imprisonment with 
hard labour from terms varying from 5 to 10 years. 
All the troops, European and native, were drawn up on 
parade, and the delinquents were stripped of their 
uniform and ironed. They were then marched off to 
jail, uttering imprecations on the Government. 


There were at the time two native infantry regiments 
at that station, and one of cavalry, and two European 
corps, with two troops of European horse artillery and 
a field battery. The European troops could easily have 
exterminated the native force, but unhappily the station 
was under the command of a worn out and imbecile 
septuagenarian, General Hewitt, whose name has ob- 
tained a most unenviable notoriety in Indian history. 



Massacre by teie Sepoys. 

On the llth May, as the bells were ringing for 
Church Service, incendiary fires became visible in 
various directions. The incensed troopers of the 3rd 
Cavalry rushed to the jail, where no European guard 
had been stationed, and knocked off the irons of their 
companions and likewise liberated all the prisoners. 
Simultaneously with the forcing of the jail, the two 
infantry regiments assembled tumultuously on their 
parade, seized their arms, and shot Colonel Finnis, and 
other of their officers who were endeavouring to appease 
them. The Sepoys and the convicts joined by the mob, 
now rushed into the houses of the Europeans, and in- 
discriminately massacred all they could seize, without 
regard to sex or age, aggravating murder by outrages 
still more revolting. After they had plundered or 
destroyed the property they set fire to the bungalows, 
and the cantonment was soon in a blaze. When the 
destruction was complete, and every European man, 
woman, and child had been mercilessly butchered, they 
prepared to leave Meerut and take the road to Delhi, 


distant about 40 miles. It was at this stage of the 
catastrophe that the European troops were first brought 
into action, but it was now too late. The dragoons and 
the riflemen overtook and shot down a few of the 
hindermost of the mutineers. Handled with the most 
ordinary skill, the European troops at the station might 
have effectively prevented the march of the mutineers 
to Delhi, but they were under the command of 
General Hewitt, and they were to proceed to Delhi, 
without a blow. 

On their arrival they found no difficulty in persuad- 
ing the two regiments stationed there to unite with 
them, and enact the same scenes they had perpetrated 
at x\feerut. Every European found in the city was put 
to death under circumstances of unexampled barbarity. 
There was not a single company of British troops to 
<^uard the arsenal, the second in magnitude and 
importance in the Bengal Presidency, and after a brief 
defence by a feeble handful of Europeans who hastened 
to its protection, it fell into the hands of the insurgents, 
with its almost inexhaustible stores and munitions of 

The pensioned King of Delhi was drawn from his 
obscurity and proclaimed Emperor of India, and within 
t month after the outbreak at Meerut the British 
authority had become extinct throughout the north- 
west provinces. 

From Meerut to Allahabad, among a population of 
0,000,000, and throughout a territory many hundred 


miles in extent, there did not exist the vestige of a 
Government, which, on the 1st of January, was con- 
sidered unassailable, with the exception of the fort of 
Agra and the closely beleaguered entrenchment at 

On the right bank of the Ganges, and about 120 

miles from Allahabad, lay the military cantonment at 

Cawnpore, one of the most important stations in the 

Bengal Presidency, the connecting link between 

Allahabad, Agra, and Delhi. It had never hitherto 

been left without a European regiment, and was often 

protected by two. In June, 1857, however, there were 

only 200 European soldiers and 10 guns. It was 

under the command of Major-General Sir Hugh 

Wheeler, a soldier of great Indian experience, in whom 

Government reposed high and well-merited confidence. 

About the middle of May, perceiving a growing spirit 

of disaffection between the four native regiments under 

his command, he had taken the precaution of throwing 

up an entrenchment as a place of resort in case of 

extremity ; but so great was his confidence in the 

loyalty of the troops, in whose ranks his life had been 

passed and his honours gained, that he regarded this 

entrenchment rather for its moral effect than a refuge 

for safety in danger, the possibility of which his faith 

in the native soldier prevented him from entertaining. 

The work was, therefore, never rendered actually 

defensible, nor was it provided with water and supplies. 

His position, in a military point of view, was moreover 


embarrassed by the women and children of the 32nd 
foot, quartered at Lucknow, the ladies of the station, 
and other female fugitives of the surrounding districts. 
On the night of the 6th of June, the native regi- 
ments broke into open mutiny, burnt down the lines, 
and plundered the treasury of £170,000. Glutted with 
this boot}', they proposed to march to Delhi, but they 
were persuaded by Nana Sahib to take service under his 
standard and complete the extermination of the 




Nana Sahib's Treachery. 

Nana Sahib, whose name will ever be conspicuous in 
the annals of crime as the personification of perfidy and 
cruelty, was the adopted son of Bagee Row, the Peishwa 
or head of the ancient Mahratta Confederacy. 

In the year 1818, while at peace with the British 
Government, the Peishwa had endeavoured by an act 
of the basest treachery to destroy Mr. Mountstuart 
Elphinstone, the Resident at his Court, but the assault 
was gallantly repelled, and he was obliged to fly from 
his capital at Poonah, and was hunted through the 
country for several months by Sir John Malcolm. His 
power was finally crushed at the battle of Kirkee ; but 
just at the period when he was brought to bay and must 
have surrendered at discretion, he was admitted to 
terms, and by an act of reckless prodigality endowed 
with an annuity of £90,000 ; this provision he lived to 
enjoy 32 years, and after having received from the 
British Government a sum of two millions and a half 
sterling, died at Bithoor, about sixteen miles above 
Cawnpore, which had been assigned as the place of his 
residence. Of these accumulations he bequeathed a 


large portion to his adopted sod Nana Sahib, 'who had 
the assurance to demand the continuance of the pension. 
It was, as a matter of course, refused, and from that 
time he conceived the most bitter hostility to the 

When the spirit of disaffection first appeared among 
the native troops at Cawupore, the Nana manifested 
the most friendly disposition towards Sir Hugh 
Wheeler, and at his request afforded every assistance 
for the safety of the Treasur} r , which remained for 
several days under the protection of 600 of his men and 
two guns. But no sooner had the Sepoys at Cawnpore 
broken into open mutiny and obtained the ascendancy, 
than he threw off the mask and took the lead of the 
hostile movement. 

The indiscriminate destruction of the European and 
native Christians under every form of barbarity who 
had not taken refuge in the intrenchments to which 
Sir Hugh Wheeler had retired, now became the pastime 
of this fiend in human shape. A hundred and twenty- 
six fugitive English ladies and gentlemen and children 
had happily escaped from the insurgents at Futtyghur, 
and were proceeding down the river to Allahabad, when 
the boats were descried by the Nana's followers at 
Bithoor and brought to, and the whole party was 
ruthlessly murdered. 

The revolted Sepoys swelled by the recruits enlisted 
by Nana Sahib, and aided by the large resources of 
the Cawnpore magazine, which Sir Hugh Wheeler had 


attempted to blow up but failed, now closed round the 
intrenchment. The sufferings of the ill- sheltered in- 
mates from the combined effect of exposure, privation 
and ceaseless watching night and day under arms, and 
of the concentrated fire incessantly poured upon them 
from a powerful artillery, present perhaps the most 
dismal page in the history of British India. 

On the day on which General Havelock received in 
Calcutta his appointment to the command of the column 
for the relief of Cawnpore the garrison was driven, 
after a defence, the record of which is imperishable, to 
entertain thoughts of a capitulation — -not for their own 
sakes, but for that of the helpless women and children. 

Four days afterwards this band of Englishmen, 
bright in their valour, and of Englishwomen, still 
brighter in their fortitude, by an act of the most 
atrocious perfidy, had ceased to exist. 

Of the 870 persons who had survived the cannonade 
for more than three weeks, 330 were women and 
children. When reduced to the last extremity, Nana 
Sahib sent a messenger to Sir Hugh Wheeler, offering 
the garrison a safe conduct to Allahabad, with per- 
mission to take their baggage, arms, and ammunition 
with them, on condition that they would capitulate. 
Sir Hugh most reluctantly accepted the overture, but 
only because it held out a hope of saving the heroic 
women and the tender children from a lingering death. 
The Nana took an oath by the water of the Ganges — 
h e most sacred that a Hindoo and a Brahmin can 


utter — to be faithful to his engagement. Boats were 
provided by him, and the women and children were 
conveyed to them in vehicles, in some cases with every 
expression of sympathy and solicitude for their welfare. 
Every heart now beat high with the certainty of 
their deliverance ; but no sooner had the whole party 
been seated in the boats than three signal guns were 
fired, and a destructive fire was opened on the helpless 
fugitives from cannon planted on the shore and hitherto 
concealed along the bank, as well as from the pieces of 
Sana's soldiers. The shrieks of the women and the 
cries of the children were drowned by the rattle of 
musketry and the roar of the guns, and the yells of the 
hounds now let loose on them. The massacre was a 
preconcerted perfidy. It has since become evident by 
the discovery of the document, that an order had been 
sent to the Commandant of the mutinous 17th Native 
Infantry and some irregulary cavalry, then on the 
Oude bank, to fire on any of the fugitives who might 
attempt to land. The whole party was treacherously 
butchered, with the exception of 210 women and 
children, who were taken back to the town, and 
reserved for future destruction. This atrocity was 
perpetrated on the 27th of June. On the 7th July 
General Sir Henry Havelock marched out of Allahabad 
with a relieving column of about 1,000 bayonets from 
four European regiments — the 64th, the 78th High- 
landers, the 84th Foot, and the Madras Fusiliers, 130 
Sikhs, some volunteer cavalry, and six guns. This 


small force encountered the enemy at Futtepore on the 
12th of July ; their number was estimated at 3,500, 
with 12 guns, and in four hours that gallant officer 
defeated them, captured 11 guns, and scattered the 
enemy's whole force to the winds, without the loss of 
a single British soldier. 

On the 16th of July Havelock's force was in front of 
Cawnpore. It was reported in camp that the 210 
women and children who had survived the massacre on 
the 27th of June were still alive, and the animating 
hope of rescuiug them banished every sense of fatigue 
from our brave fellows who had marched so many 
miles under a broiling sun and with but scanty sup- 

The Nana had come out in person with a body of 
5,000 men and eight guns, to play his last stake for 
power. The position he had chosen was a most 
formidable one : his left covered by the Ganges, a mile 
distant, and by the high ground sloping towards it, was 
defended by four 24 pounders. The road to the canton- 
ment of Cawnpore divided his left from the centre, 
which was posted in a low hamlet ; here a 24 pounder, 
howitzer and a horse 6 pounder were planted and en- 
trenched. The great trunk road ran between his centre 
and his right, which was behind a village encompassed 
with mangoe groves, surrounded by a mud wall, and 
defended by two 9 pounders. The railroad embankment 
lay to the right of it. The two roads met about 800 
yards in front of the enemy's position, which extended 


over a mile and a quarter in the form of a crescent, the 
centre more retired than the flanks. 

The Nana calculated that our force would necessarily 
come up the grand trunk road to this point of conver- 
gence, and all his artillery was laid and pointed to sweep 
it, the range having been carefully measured and marked 

His infantry was massed in support of the guns to 
defend the strong position, and the mutinous 2nd 
Cavalry was placed in rere of the enemy's left. It was 
evident that any attempt to carry this position by a 
coup de main would entail a most serious loss of life, for 
the artillery of the enemy equalled our own in number, 
and outweighted in calibre, and they enjoyed the im- 
mense advantage of an entrenched cover. The General, 
therefore, determined to turn their position. The 
Volunteer Cavalry was directed to bring in some of the 
neighbouring villagers, who were minutely and separa- 
tely questioned as to the nature of the ground on both 
the enemy's flanks, and the bye roads leading to their 
camp. From a careful collation of these reports, it 
appeared that the ground lying between the enemy's 
left and the river was more elevated, while that on their 
right was low and swampy, and moreover, commanded 
by the railway embankment, the General therefore 
resolved to select their left flank for his attack. 


Gallant Attack, and Route of the Enemy. 

Having determined on his course of operation, com- 
manding officers of detachments were summoned. The 
General, standing in the midst of them, rapidly traced a 
rough diagram of the projected movements in the dust 
with the point of his scabbard, and in a few brief words 
explained his intentions. After this he satisfied himself 
with questions, that his plan was clearly comprehended 
by the officers. With a commander so bold, and yet so 
perspicuous in his orders, the troops marched as to 

assured victory. 

A column of sub- divisions was now formed in front, 

one wing of the Madras Fusiliers heading it, the other 
covering the left flank in skirmishing order ; then came 
m succession with the guns at intervals, the 78th High- 
landers, the 64th, the 84th and the Sikhs. The 
Volunteer Cavalry advanced in front of the infant^ 
with orders, when the column reached the point of 
divergence, to continue its march deliberately along the 
road to attract the attention of the enemy and lead to 
the belief that our troops were moving onward in the 


teeth of their guns. For three miles the column moved 
steadily on the road, and then wheeled to the right, 
while the Volunteer Cavalry drew the fire of the 
enemy's guns on themselves. The infantry marched 
for a thousand yards under the shelter of the groves and 
unseen by the enemy; but a gap in the trees at length 
betrayed the movement, and the enemy opened fire with 
every gun that could bear on the flank of the 78th and 
64th, inflicting some loss. Not a shot was fired in 
return ; the column advanced silently and compactly as 
on parade, and the stillness was only broken by the 
bursting shells of the enemy, and the imprecations of the 
bullock drivers, as they urged their cattle to the utmost 

The rear of our column having cleared the groves, 
the companies wheeled at a bound into line. The force 
at once advanced in direct echellon of battalions from 
the right, the 78th, the leading battalion, being 
supported by four guns on each flank, and by the 
whole of the Madras Fusiliers in skirmishing order. 
Our artillery at once opened fire, pushing forward as 
rapidly as the broken nature of the ground would 

By this master-stroke the fire of the enemy's centre 
and right was neutralized as they could not use their 
guns without endangering their left. Three guns of 
the enemy were stoutly posted behind a lofty hamlet 
well entrenched. The honour of capturing them was 
given to the 78th Highlanders. They were led by 


Colonel Hamilton, and followed him with surpassing 
steadiness and gallantry under a heavy fire — need it be 
added that the enemy fled and the guns captured. 

One effort more remained to be made, as arduous as 
any of the struggles of the day. The enemy appeared 
to be in full retreat to Cawnpore, followed by our 
exhausted troops, when a reserve 24-pounder planted 
on the road, and aided by two smaller guns, reopened 
fire on our advancing line, as the Nana had deter- 
mined here to make his final stand for the possession of 
Cawnpore, from which fresh troops had poured forth to 
his assistance. The greatest animation pervaded the 
enemy's ranks — the din of their drums, the shouts of 
their cavalry, and the booming of their guns were 
sufficient to affect the minds of the troops, lying down 
as they were, to afford time for our own guns, which 
were a mile in the rere, to come up. This temporary 
pause in our advance emboldened the enemy. General 
Havelock's horse had been shot, but he speedily mounted 
a hack, and, coming into that rain of fire, in a clear 
and firm tone issued the order to rise for a last advance. 
The 64th was the leading regiment of the echellon, 
and as it advanced the gun swept its ranks, and from 
thirty to forty fell before the corps reached the 

The enemy lost all heart, and after a hurried fire of 
musketry gave way in total route. Four of our guns 
came up and completed their discomfiture by a heavy 


Such was the battle of Cawnpore, in which 1,000 
British troops and 300 Sikhs, fighting under a deadly 
sun, with the aid of only 18 horse, against a superior 
artillery and numerous cavalry, drove from a position 
skilfully selected and strongly entrenched, a body of 
5,000 native troops, trained and disciplined by our own 

The troops bivouacked on the night of the 16th of 
July, on the bare ground, without food or tents ; no 
fire was lighted, and a dead silence prevaded the line. 
The baggage had been left at Maharajpore, and as it 
would have been imprudent to move it during the 
night in the presence of the enemy's superior cavalry, 
it did not come up till morning. 

Early on the morning of the 17th of July 1857, 
General Havelock's force entered Cawnpore, but un- 
happily too late to prevent the dreadful massacre of 
the helpless women and innocent children, and as some 
of the troops advanced to the Sevada plain, east of 
Cawnpore — Wheeler's encampment — and the building 
where those unfortunates had been confined were 
entered, and the troops were struck with horror at 
the sight which met their eyes. 

The pavement was swimming in blood, and frag- 
ments of ladies' and children's dresses were floating 
upon it. The apartments were found empty and 
silent, but there also the blood lay deep on the floor, 
covered with bonnets, collars, combs, and children's 
frocks and frills; the walls were dotted with the 


marks of bullets, and on the wooden pillars were deep 
sword cuts, from which hung tresses of hair, but 
neither the sword cuts or the dents of the bullets were 
sufficiently high above the floor to indicate that the 
weapons had been aimed at men defending their lives ; 
they appeared, rather, to have been levelled at crouching 
women and children begging for mercy. The soldiers 
proceeded in their search, when, in crossing the court- 
yard, they perceived human limbs bristling from a well, 
and found it choked up with the bodies of the victims, 
which appeared to have been thrown in promiscuously, 
the dead with the wounded, till it was full to the 

It is related that the Highlanders, on coming to 
a body which had been barbarously exposed, and 
which was supposed to be that of Sir Hugh Wheeler's 
daughter, cut off the tresses, and reserving a portion to 
be sent to their own families, sat down and counted the 
remainder, and swore that for every hair one of the 
rebels should die. 

It was ascertained on further inquiry that the Nana, 
actuated by feelings of revenge for the defeat of his 
army, resolved to wreak his vengeance on the helpless 
women and children in his power. The Cawnpore 
rebels were equally anxious to remove out of the way 
all who could identify the perpetrators of previous 
atrocities, and it was determined to put the defenceless 
prisoners to death. 

The men of the Nana's guard were sent down, and 


they massacred in cold blood, 212 unresisting worn, n 
and children. 

In the annals of human guilt there is no blacker 
page than that in which her perfidious murders of 
Cawnpore are inscribed. A century will scarcely suffice 
to restore that Confidence in the native character which 
the atrocities committed during the mutiny at various 
stations, more especially at Cawnpore, have so com- 
pletely obliterated. 

On the 20th of July General Neill arrived at Cawn- 
pore from Allahabad with a reinforcement, whom 
Havelock left with a force of about 500 men, and an 
entrenched camp, as a provision for the defence of the 
town. This precaution was considered as a necessity, 
as at a distance of about 70 miles, the Nawaub of 
Futtypore, after having murdered all the Europeans 
men, women and children within his reach, had 
raised the standard of revolt, and assembled under it 
two regiments of native infantry, some of the revolted 
Oude troops, and a rabble of armed followers. 


Capture of Onao. 

Before the mutiny Futtyghur was the great military 
workshop of the north-west provinces, with large 
establishments for the supply of gun carriages, cloth- 
ing, &c.j and from these stores the Nawaub was enabled 
to furnish himself with munitions of war of every 
description. Nana Sahib, moreover, was across the 
Ganges at Futtehpore Chourasse, where he was endea- 
vouring to reassemble his scattered troops. 

Though he was not likely again to try conclusions 
with Havelock in the field, he might take advantage of 
his absence and try to regain possession of Cawnpore, 
And the whole district teemed with a hostile and martial 

The wise and gallant Havelock having taken all 
necessary precautions against the town again falling 
into the hands of the insurgents, was impatient to 
hasten to the relief of Lucknow. The enterprise on 
which the General now entered was one of no common 
difficulty, and but for the great object before him, that 
of rescuing the beleaguered garrison from destruction, 
must have appeared rash even to presumption. 


On the 28th of July the whole of Havelock's force, 
amounting to about 1,500 men and 10 guns, assembled 
at Mungulwar, and on the 29th advanced to Onao, a 
•distance of about three miles, where the enemy, having 
ftaken up a strong position, disputed the way, and our 
attack became unavoidable. The place was vigorously 
•defended, but the village was set fire to by our troops. 
Pinally the guns were captured, and the enemy de- 
feated, with a loss computed at 300 men. 

After pursuing the enemy for some distance the 
troops halted for three hours and partook of a meal. 
The bugle then sounded again, the men fell into their 
places, and marched for a distance of six miles to 
Busseerutgunge, a walled-in town, intersected by the 
high road to Lucknow. The main gate at the entrance 
•of the town was defended by an earth- work, a trench, 
and four guns. It was a formidable position, and it 
became manifest to the General that an attempt to 
assail it in front, unsupported by a flank movement, 
would entail serious loss of life, lie, therefore, directed 
the G4th Regiment to march round the town on the 
left, and interpose itself between the farther gate and 
the causeway. The 78th Highlanders and the Madras 
Fusiliers endeavoured to storm the gateway, but the 
•enemy's guns sending repeated and heavy discharges 
into their ranks they were ordered to lie down, while 
our cannon plied the defence, with energy. The 
enemy's fire now appeared to slacken, and the two corps, 
having received orders to rise, sprang to their feet, und 


with a shout which, struck terror to the rebels, cleared 
the trench, and rushed in at the gate. The enemy 
bewildered at the impetuosity of the charge, and the 
flank movement of the 64th became utterly disheartened, 
abandoned their guns, and fled in confusion through 
the town and over the causeway, hotly pursued b} r the 

With the exception of three hours given to rest and 
refreshment, the troops had now been incessantly 
marching and fighting from sunrise to sunset. The 
night was now closing in, and the General did not deem 
it prudent to allow them to proceed in pursuit of the 
enemy beyond the causeway, and the weary soldiers 
were bivouacked for the night close to the town. 

The opposition that the General had encountered in 
these, his first operations in Oude, was likely to increase 
as he penetrated into the province. He had learned 
that the insurgents had been strengthened by the revolt 
of three native regiments at Dinapore, and the hostile 
force in his rere thus assumed a more formidable 
appearance. It was, moreover, reported that a third of 
his gun ammunition had been expended in the attack 
at Onao and Busseerutgunge, and the army had as yet 
progressed only one-third of its way to Lucknow. 
Eighty men had been killed and wounded in the two 
actions of the previous day, and as many disabled by 
fatigue, exposure, and the ravages of cholera. These 
invalids required the whole of the sick carriage of the 
force. There was not an unoccupied doolie in the 


<amp. This was by far the most serious difficulty 
which presented itself to the mind of the General. It 
was impossible for him to advance without conveyance 
for the wounded, unless it was intended to abandon 
them to destruction on the road. 

Under the influence of these considerations, General 
Havelock felt it his duty to retire to his impregnable 
position at Mungulwar, send back his sick and wounded 
to Cawnpore, and augment his force by all the rein- 
forcements he could obtain before he again advanced to 
Lucknow. This decision was fortified by the assurance 
he had received, that the besieged garrison at the 
Residency was for the present sufficiently supplied with 
provisions, and that the pressure cf the siege would be 
in some measure relaxed by the diversion of a large 
bodv of the rebels to watch his movements. 

On his return to Mungulwar he wrote to General 
Neill, that though everywhere successful, he urgently 
required another battery and a thousand British bay- 
onets, before he could do anything for the real advantage 
of Lucknow, and urged him to push forward every 
available soldier and gun, as it was his intention to 
advance to Lucknow immediately on their arrival. 

But he was destined to bitter disappointment. He 
was informed by Sir Patrick Grant that be could expect 
no reinforcements for weeks, on account of the mutiny 
at Dinapore, by which 3,000 troops, well armed and 
disciplined, had been added to the insurgent army, and 
the European troops which were on their way to re- 


inforce him, and enable him to advance to Lucknow,. 
were detained to protect the districts and towns menaced 
by this new brood of rebels. Instead, therefore, of re- 
ceiving an accession of two regiments, with which he 
might have relieved the Residency, the whole of the 
additional force he was able to obtain from Cawnporo 
did not exceed 257 men, a number barely sufficient 
to fill up the casualities created by the sword and 

On the 3rd of August the General received half of 
Captain Olipert's batter} r , consisting of three horsed 
9-pounders and likewise two 24-pounders. 

Although the General's column was no stronger 
with these reinforcements than when he started for 
Lucknow the first time, he determined to make another 
effort to reach it ; and he felt that if the Residency was. 
to be relieved at all, the attempt must be made by the 
troops then under his command. 

The General calculated that he had three strong 
positions to force before he could reach the City of 
Lucknow, and that his losses would probably fall little 
short of 300, thus only leaving him 700 British 
bayonets for the attack on that city, with its encircling 
canal, its entrenched and barricaded streets, its loop- 
holed houses, temples, and palaces, defended by a war- 
like population and an army of soldiers disciplined to* 
perfection by our own officers. Every village was 
opposed to us, and the landholders — of which class 
many of those who had fallen in the action of the 


morning consisted — bad universally risen against us, 
and had collected bands of two and three hundred 
partisans to oppose our progress. The Gwalior con- 
tingent, moreover, had now mutinied in a bod}-. It 
was a compact little army in itself, with horse, foot, 
and twenty-four field guns, thoroughly organised and 
equipped ; and the native subalterns, owing to the 
paucity of European officers, took a more active share 
of the government of the different corps, and were con- 
sequently more efficient. It was, therefore, a more 
formidable enemy than any mere assemblage of single 
regiments of the line. It was now said to be approach- 
ing Culpee, on the Ganges, within fifty miles of Cawn- 
pore. The Dinapore mutineers were likewise reported 
to be advancing westward, to join the standard of 
Nana Sahib. 

The General had been warned to expect no reinforce- 
ments for two months; and to crown his difficulties 
the cholera had broken out in his camp with increased 
virulence. His men were dying around him ; and 
while he was deliberating on his course the survivors 
employed the brief halting time in digging graves for 
their comrades who had fallen victims to it during the 
day. Thus, surrounded by difficulties, and assailed by 
an irresistible enemy within his camp, the mind of the 
General was a prey to conflicting anxieties ; and after 
carefully weighing all the considerations the General 
came to the painful conclusion that it was his paramount 
duty to abandon the attempt to relieve Lucknow until 
he was adequately reinforced. 


But lie did not act without conferring with the 
officers of his Staff, upon whose judgment he set great 
value. He called them together and inquired their 
views, and they unanimously concurred with him in the 
opinion that to advance upon Lucknow under present 
circumstances would be a gainless sacrifice of the lives 
of men who had so heroically maintained the honour 
of the British Army. 

It was therefore determined to retire to Mungulwar, 
although the little army was burning with impatience 
to advance to Lucknow. 


The Relief of Luckxow. 

When intelligence of the death of General Anson 
reached London, the vacant post of Commander-in- 
Chief of the Indian Army was at once offered to Sir 
Colin Campbell, who embarked for Calcutta at twenty - 
four hours' notice, and arrived there on the 13th August, 
1857, and immediately placed himself in communication 
with Ilavelock, whose effective European strength did 
not now exceed 6£5 bayonets. This was the whole 
number left out of 1,700 who had joined his column — 
the sword and disease had destroyed or disabled the rest ; 
but he was assured by the gratifying intelligence that 
Sir Colin had embarked on board a steamer to the head 
quarters, and about seven companies of the 90th Regi- 
ment, also a considerable portion of the 5th Fusiliers 
and a battalion of Madras Infantry, and six 6-poundei>- 
Having thus obtained the assurance of prompt rein- 
forcements, he offered his cordial thanks to Sir Colin for 
the succour which was promised, and hoped that it wu 
only the advanced guard of a stronger force, which was 
most urgently needed, lie wanted a company of artil- 
lery to work his heavy guns, and cavalry to improve his 


Sir James ^Outram arrived at Cawnpore with rein- 
forcements on the 15th of September. The force now 
about to make the third attempt to relieve Lucknow 
consisted of Havelock's veterans — fearfully reduced in 
number — a detachment of 200 or 300 men who had 
come up with Colonel Stisted, and the reinforcements 
brought by Sir James Outram, constituting in all a 
force of 2,500 men. With this gallant little army, under 
command of General Havelock, the relief of Lucknow 
was effected. 

On the evening of the 25th of September, 1857, the 
troops were drawn up at the hour of 8 o'clock in front 
of the Alumbagh, and formed for the advance. A small 
table was placed in the open field on which a map of 
the City of Lucknow was spread, and, as the two 
Generals and their Staff bent over it tracing the route, 
a nine pound shot from the enemy's battery, coming 
straight to the table, fortunately struck the ground at 
a distance of about four yards, and rising, bounded over 
their heads, leaving them uninjured. 

Between 8 and 9 o'clock the welcome order to 
"Advance" was given. Sir James Outram took the 
command of the 1st and leading brigade, with all the 
artillery, heavy and light. The 2nd under Havelock 
followed in support. 

The Highlanders and Sikhs, with Outram and Have- 
lock at their head, pushed on to the Residency through 
an incessant storm of shot. The loopholed houses on 
either side poured forth a stream of fire as they ad- 


vanced ; every roof sent down a shower of missiles on 
them ; deep trenches had been cut across the road to 
detain them under the fire of the adjacent buildings ; 
at every angle they encountered a fearful volley. At 
length they forced their way to the gates of the Resi- 
dency, and entered in the dark and in triumph. Then 
came three cheers for the leaders and the joy of the 
half-famished garrison. 

The scene within the Residency has been eloquently 
described by a Staff officer thus : — " Once fairly seen all 
our doubts and fears regarding them were ended, and 
then the garrison's pent up feelings of anxiety and sus- 
pense burst forth in a succession of deafening cheer* 
from every pit, trench, and battery, from behind the- 
sand bags piled on shattered houses, from every post 
still held by a few gallant spirits rose cheer on cheer, 
even from the hospital many of the wounded crawled 
forth to join in that glad shout of welcome to those who 
had so bravely come to their assistance. It was a moment 
never to be forgotten. The delight of the ever gallant 
Highlanders, who had fought 12 battles to enjoy that 
moment of ecstacy, and in the last four days had lost a 
third of their number, seemed to know no bounds ; and 
as the General and Sir James Outram had entered Dr. 
Frazer's house, the ladies in the garrison and their 
children crowded with intense excitement into the porch 
to see their deliverers. The Highlanders rushed for- 
ward — the rough bearded warriors — and shook tlu> 
ladies by the hand with loud and repeated gratulatiom 


They took the children up in their arms, fondly caressing 
them, passing them from one to another in turn. Then 
when the first burst of enthusiasm was over, thev 
mournfully turned to speak among themselves of the 
heavy losses they had sustained, and to inquire the 
names of numerous comrades who had fallen in the 

General Havelock has been blamed by some for 
bringing with him four heavy guns, which were con- 
sidered as embarrassing to his small force, but he always 
held a strong opinion on the question of heavy artillery, 
based on the manifest difficulties which the want of it 
had entailed on "Napoleon at Acre," on "Wellington 
■at Burgos," and on " Lake at Bhurtpore." 

It is impossible to over-estimate the value of the 
hervices rendered by the gallant Sir Henry Havelock 
and the army of heroes which he commanded at that 
most critical period of the mutinies — the months of 
•July and August. 

In braving the inclemency of the season they 
achieved what it was till then believed no Englishman, 
or other European, could do ; and in putting to flight, 
with small numbers, the masses of troops opposed to 
them, supported by so powerful an artillery, teaching 
all British soldiers to despise the foe, and thereafter, 
whatever the disparity of numbers, they always ad- 
vanced to assured victory. Long, therefore, will the 
recollection of the name of Havelock and of the 78th 
Highlanders, the 1st Madras Fusiliers, and the 64th 


and 84th regiments be cherished by all who lor mod 
part of the garrison of Lucknow. 

After the capture of the Residency by Havelock and 
Outram, with their brave followers, Sir Colin Campbell 
pushed forward at the head of 5,000 men, and now the 
final relief was accomplished with an army of 6,000 
British bayonets and a powerful artillery, commanded 
by such leaders as Campbell, Outram, Havelock, Inglis, 
and others. Lucknow was ours (and there was now no 
power able to cope with such a force), so that the whole 
of the insurgent province and the capital of Oude lay 
at the mercy of the victorous British Army. 


Officers of the Regiment, 1857. 

After the suppression of the Mutiny in India, of 
course the standing army at home and abroad was 
gradually reduced and the Militia of the United King- 
dom disembodied. 

William Henry Moore Hodder, late Lieut. 88th Foot. 

Lt.- Colonel. 
William St. Leger Alcock Stawell, late Capt. 23rd Foot. 

Robert Aldworth, late Captain 94th Foot. 


Frederick J. Rawlins, late Lieut, oth Foot. 

Edward Braddell, late Capt. 70th Foot. 

Edward Hoare. 

Dominick R. Sarstield. 

Robert Aldworth. 

Crewe C. Townsend. 

Robt. D. Perry. 

Chas. Fredk. Knolles. 

Eyre Massy Shaw 


Cornelius O'Callaghan. 
William Lambert Howe. 
Richard Meade. 
Francis B. Kell. 
Herbert Coghlan. 
Ohas. Dudley Gabbett. 
Hy. A. St. Clair Keogh. 
Charles Elliott. 


John Quarry. 
Richd. Reynell Aylmer. 
George Halberd. 
Henry Chas. Mansergh. 
Edmund Leahy. 
Philip Sydney Dudley. 
Douglas Mercer. 
Thos. Richard Gabbett. 
Richard Conner. 
John Francis Belli*. 
Augustus Stanley Clarke. 
James F. W. Cronin. 

Frederick M. Callaghan, late Lieut. GOth Royal Rifles. 

Quartermaster — Foster Hewison, late Rifle Brigade. 

Surr/eon — James F. Uniacke, M.D. 

Assistant Surgeon — Francis Ffolliott, M.D. 

Paymaster — Richard G. Creagh. 


The North. Cork Rifle Regiment was selected for 
embodiment during the war of the Indian Mutiny, 
and assembled at Mallow in the County of Cork on the 
15th September, 1857, under the command of Colonel 
Hodder, and on the 24th of same month marched to 
Fermoy, where it remained until the 17th November 
following, when it was ordered to England, and sailed 
from Queenstown to Portsmouth for the Camp at Shorn - 
cliffe, where it arrived on the 2nd of December, 1857 
The regiment remained there attached to the Brigade of 
Major-General Lord West until the 14th of June, 1858, 
when " the route " arrived for Sheerness, where it was 
engaged on dockyard and garrison duty with the 
Royal Artillery until the middle of the following 
October. An unfortunate fracas occurred here be- 
tween the seamen, the marines, the townspeople, and 
some men of the regiment. The row originated 
in one of the low public-houses in the worst part 
of Bluetown, a not over-salubrious portion of the place ; 
the few men of the corps first attacked were presently 
joined by a number of others, when the affair threat- 
ened to assume serious proportions. The officer in 
command of the place, Major-General Sir Richard 
England, R.A., then gave orders to send out strong 
pickets of the Royal Artillery and the Rifles to quell 
the disturbance and arrest the ringleaders, which, after 
a good deal of difficulty, was accomplished. A Court 
of Enquiry, however, was convened, and an officer from 
the War Office Staff was sent b} T the Duke of Cambridge 


from the Horse Guards to inquire into the matter. 
This resulted in the exoneration of the Rifles, as the 
following letter specifies : — 

" Horse Guards, 29th October, 1858. 

"Sir, — The General Commanding-in-Chief having 
had under his consideration the proceedings of the 
"Court of Enquiry, held to investigate the circumstances 
attending the disturbance between certain men of the 
North Cork Rifles under your command, and the sea- 
men, marines, and inhabitants of Sheerness, by which 
His Royal Highness was compelled, in order to restore 
-and maintain the tranquillity of the town, to remove 
the regiment to Aldershot. 

u I have it in command to acquaint you, that His* 
Royal Highness collects, from evidence, that the militia 
cannot be considered as the original aggressors in these 
riots, which have acquired so unpleasant a notoriety. 

" The General Commanding-in-Chief directs me to 
make this communication to you, as the result of the 
Court of Enquiry in question has fully confirmed the 
report made by the Staff-Officer, who was sent down 
personally to communicate with the Admiral and the 
Commandant of the garrison, both of whom spoke in 
the highest terms of the conduct of the North Cork 
Rifles, and to whom the Superintendent of Police stated, 
that ever since the arrival of the regiment in June 
last, up to this unfortunate quarrel, not a man of the 
corps had been in custody of the Civil power for any 
offence whatever. 


" His Royal Highness commands me add, that he 
has every confidence in the North Cork Rifles con- 
tinuing to maintain the high character they have 
hitherto held during the whole of their embodied 

" I have the honour to be, Sir, 

" Your obedient Servant, 

"Gd. Wethbrall, A.G 

" Colonel W. H. M. Hodder, 

" Commanding North Cork Rifles," 
North Camp, Aldershot." 


At an early hour on the morning of 15th of June, 
1858, the regiment paraded and the roll called. Not a 
man was absent, and the corps embarked in silence and 
in perfect order from the Government Gun Wharf in 
two war steamers for Strood Station, North Kent Rail- 
way, from whence it was conveyed to the North Camp, 
Aldershot, and was attached to the Brigade of Major- 
General Lord William Paulette, where it took its part 
in the usual routine of camp duty, divisional and 
brigade field days, &c, marching out, and encampment 
at Woolmer Forest, where a model camp was pitched, 
and the troops remained under canvas for three days. 
The regiment whilst at Aldershot won golden opinions 
— even from the voice of Royalt}', as it marched past — 
and on more than one occasion Her Majesty the Queen 


* was pleased to state her approval of the manner in 
which the North Cork ' behaved under arms ' at her 
reviews." The following letter is a matter of record : — 

"North Camp, Aldershot, 
" October loth, 1859. 

44 My Dear Colonel, 

11 As I suppose you have resumed the command of 
the North Cork Rifles, I think it is due to you and the 
regiment to express my entire approbation of their 
conduct during the time they have been under my 
command. No regiment in my brigade have had fewer 
Courts Martial, no regiment has behaved better, and no 
regiment has given me less trouble, and it was with 
regret I parted with them. 

" They quitted this command in the most creditable 
manner, not leaving a man behind. 

" I beg to wish you all every prosperity. 

" And believe me, 

" Very truly yours, 

" W. Paulette, Major-General, 
" Commanding 1st Brigade. 

4i Colonel W. H. M. Hodder, 
" North Cork Rifles, 

'* Ayr Barracks, N.B. 


The distance from the North Camp, Aldershot, to 
Woolmer Forest is over 15 miles, which was accom- 
plished by the troops in about five hours, under a 
broiling sun, a dusty road, and in heavy marching 
order, yet not a man of the North Cork fell out, although 
the leading battalion, and immediately following the 
Field Artillery and the Cavalry ; then came the 11th 
Regiment, the 19th, the 36th, the 1st King's Own 
Stafford, and some others, whilst in front were the 
E Company Royal Engineers, a battery of Artillery r 
the 2nd Life Guards (two squadrons), the 10th Hussars, 
the 5th Dragoon Guards, and a troop of the Military 
Train. The Camp at Aldershot in those days was a very 
enjoyable quarter, and although a little expensive, and 
with numberless field days and plenty of work, yet 
from its proximity to London, and other advantages,. 
the place was much enjoyed by the officers of the 
regiment. But by far the most delightful of the 
quarters occupied by the North Cork during this 
embodiment was the Camp at Shorncliffe, standing as it 
does at an elevation of about 100 feet above the sea, 
with the beautiful little town of Sandgate at foot, and 
with Folkestone and Dover — always gay — close by, 
and with the North Foreland, Calais, &c, in the dis- 

The point of Dungeness where there is, or was, a 
fort, the town of Hythe, the School of Musketry, and 
the well-known shingle sea beach, for ball practice are 
in the vicinity. The situation is delightful, and is 

121 - 

esteemed one of the most healthful quarters in Great 

The North Cork Rifles left the Camp, Aldershot, for 
service in Scotland, on the 7th October, 1859, having 
been within a few days of one year doing duty there. 
The entire regiment left the North Camp Station at an 
early hour in the morning, about four o'clock, and 
early as it was, it was played to the railway by the 
bands of the 36th Regiment and the 1st King's Own 
Stafford. It was accompanied by many of the officers 
and men of other regiments in the brigade, especially 
by Colonel Smith and officers of 10 th Royal Hussars, 
who kindly wished " God speed and all prosperity " to 
the jolly "old North Cork." 

The regiment was detained at sea a couple of days 
longer than it should have been by a dense fog, but it 
arrived safely, however, at Leith Pier, near Edinburgh, 
on the morning of the 14th October, 1859, was divided 
into detachments, one (head-quarter), with band, &c, 
to Ayr, remainder to the town of Hamilton, near Glas- 

Both detachments reached their destination the same 

* " Ayr, wham ne'er a toon surpasses, 
For honest men and bonnie lasses." 

Ayr is celebrated as the birthplace of Robert Burns, 
Avhose house, and the crib or nook in which he was born 

* Burns. 


is still in existence. There is also close by a monu- 
ment erected to his memory, surrounded by ornamental 
grounds, with a small museum containing relics "of 
the poet" and his " Highland Mary." In the immediate 
locality are to be seen Auld Alloway Kirk, the four 
walls of which are now only remaining, surrounded by 
a churchyard and the auld Brig of Doon, where 

* " Meg brought off her master hale, 
But left behind her ain grey tail," 

At these quarters the North Cork Rifles experienced 
a sad loss by the death of their gallant old chief, Colonel 
Hodder. Whilst dismounting from the horse he had 
been riding at the head of the regiment that morning, 
he fell backwards on his head in the barrack-yard, 
never recovered consciousness, and died on the 20th of 
November, 1859. The corpse was followed to the rail- 
way station at Ayr by the whole regiment, from 
whence it was conveyed to Ireland for interment at 
Carrigaline, County Cork. 

The town of Hamilton is rather prettily situated, 
with good barrack accommodation, and close by the 
seat of the Duke of Hamilton, with a large circular- 
shaped building of cut stone, known as the Mausoleum, 
in front of the dwelling-house, where the bones of all 
the members of that ancient family, for generations, 
have been laid. 

In the immediate vicinity is Both well Brig, cele- 

* Burns' "Tarn O'Shanter." 


brated as the scene of a battle between the 
Covenanters, under John Balfour of Burley, and 
Royal Troops, under the gallant Graharae of Claver- 
house, Viscount Dundee, described in Sir Walter 
Scott's "Old Mortality." From the bridge can be 
seen the old Castle of Tullytudlem, where dwelt Lady 
Margaret Bellenden, a by no means unimportant 
character, described in the novel by the same Immortal 

Upon the death of Colonel Moore Hodder the 
command of the North Cork Rifles devolved upon 
Lt.- Colonel W. Alcock Stawell, an officer who had 
served with the 24th and 47th Regiments, and lastly 
with the 23rd Fusiliers, in various parts of the world, 
including Gibraltar, North America and the West 
Indies, from the year 1826 to 1848, when he retired 
from the regular army and became Lieut. -Colonel 
and second in command of the North Cork Rifles in 
November, 1854. 

The regiment during its stay in Scotland received 
the utmost kindness and hospitality, and by its good 
•conduct and smart appearance earned the best wishes 
and universal approbation of the Scottish people. The 
•officers in return entertained the elite of the country in 
the same hospitable manner, and the fine band of the 
regiment — under Mr. Miller, the Bandmaster — was 
much admired. 

The "route" for Ireland arrived on the 16th of 
February, and the Regiment sailed for Queenstown, 


and was disembodied at Mallow, co. Cork, on the 28th 
February, 1860. 

The number of volunteers from the North Cork 
Rifles during the "War of the Indian Mutiny was 317, 
many of whom fought and bled in the Royal Artillery 
and the 64th and 84th Regiments with Havelock's 
victorious column. 


Vicissitudes of the Regiment. 

The North Cork Rifles assembled at Mallow for their 
first annual training and exercise, after the disembodi- 
ment of the corps on the 21st May, 1862. 
On the 25th of May, 1863, Mallow ; 
On the 25th of May, 1864, Mallow ; and 
On the 22nd of May, 1865, Mallow. 
The Government for the following six years did not 
embody the Irish Militia for the usual 27 days' train- 
ing. On the 22nd of May, 1871, however, the North 
Cork assembled at Mallow. During the training, this 
year, his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, Earl Spencer, 
visited the town, and honoured the officers with his 
presence at their mess dinner. In the year 1872 the 
regiment was not embodied on account of an epidemic 
of fever in the South of Ireland, and the North Cork 
Rifles did not again meet for training until the 
21st July, 1873, when they assembled at Fermoy, 
from whence they proceeded to the Curragh Camp, for 
the Autumn manoeuvres, on the 8th August following. 
Here a most unpleasant quarrel took place between the 
regiment and the men of the Queen's Co. Rifles, who 


were injudiciously quartered in the next line3 to the 
North Cork. A fight ensued, sticks and stones were 
freely used on both sides ; the Queen's County were 
driven into their quarters and huts for shelter, which 
were furiously assailed by North Cork. Both parties 
rushed to obtain their arras, when a strong force of the 
27th (Inniskilling) Regiment, under Colonel Freer, in- 
terposed, and after some time the riot was quelled. Both 
regiments were disarmed, however, and by order of the 
•General Officer commanding, separated and placed under 
canvas at the opposite ends of the Camp — the Queen's 
Co. Regiment was located at a well-known spot called 
" Donnelly's Hollow," near the Kilcullen road, and the 
North Cork at a part bearing the name of " French 
Furze,' : ' near the town of Kildare. An investigation 
was held in the Quarter- Master General's offices, where 
the officers belonging to both regiments were assembled, 
and the Lieutenant-General, Sir Thomas Steele, in- 
formed them that he regretted the unfortunate occur- 
rence which, for sake of the maintenance of good order, 
had obliged him to separate the regiments as he had 
done. The whole affair, however, might have been 
avoided had the two regiments not been placed to- 
gether and a little judgment employed, so as to 
prevent the rivalry, which in reality was the origin 
of the row between the two battalions. 

The North Cork returned to Fermoy on the 22nd of 
August, 1873, and was disembodied a few da} T s after- 
wards in the new barracks there. The regiment was 


commanded by Lieut. -Colon el Robert Aldworth, who- 
succeeded Colonel Alcock Stawell in command after 
that officer's retirement in 1873. He served with the 
94th Regiment from December, 1830, to May, 1844,. 
in the Mediterranean, India, and Ceylon. 

The regiment was not called out for training in the 
year 1874. It was embodied again for training at 
Fermoy on the 23rd August, 1875. On the 8th of 
May, 1876, the North Cork Rifles assembled at Fermoy, 
and proceeded to Horsham, for mobilization with the 
2nd Army Corps, in the troopship "Himalaya," on the 
12th of July, rid Queenstown to Portsmouth. 

His Royal Highness the Field Marshal Commanding 
in Chief inspected the regiment at Horsham on the 
18th July, 1876, after which it proceeded by rail to 
Guilford on the evening of the 19th July, 1876, and 
marched via the " Hog's Back " to Aldershot. 

The regiment marched past before His Royal 
Highness the Prince of Wales and H.R.IL the Duke 
of Cambridge, in the Long Valley, on the 22nd July, 
and on the 25th proceeded to Farnboro' Station, took 
rail to Portsmouth, and re-embarked in Her Majesty's 
troopships " Himalaya " and " Assistance/' for convey- 
ance to Mallow, via Queenstown, and w r as disembodied 
on the 29th of July, 1876. 

The regiment assembled for training at Mallow on the 
2nd July, 1877, and was dismissed on the 28th July, 
1877. For the three following years the regiment went 
through the annual period for training and exercise at 


the barracks, Buttevant — namely, on the 2nd July, 
1878 ; on the 21st July, 1879, and on the 3rd May, 

Under the Array Bill of 1881 the name North Cork 
Rifles was abolished, and the regiment became the 
9th Battalion of the King's Royal Rifle Corps. 

The present gallant Chief of the Battalion, Colonel 
R. W. Aldworth, entered the army as 2nd Lieutenant 
in the 60th Royal Rifles (2nd Battalion), and accom- 
panied them to North America, where he served from 
1845 to 1847, and again there with the 7th Royal 
Fusiliers, from 1848 to 1850. He served in the 
Eastern Campaign of 1854, including the Battles of 
Alma and Inkerman, Siege of Sebastopol, and Sortie of 
26th of October (medal and clasps). 

After the Crimean War he went to India, in June, 
1857, in command of the 1st Battalion 7th (Royal 
Fusiliers), and landed at Kurrachee in November the 
same year. He remained in India during the entire of 
the Mutiny, until 1861, when he returned to England. 
On the 20th of May. 1863, he obtained the rank of 
Colonel, shortly afterwards retired from the regular 
army, subsequently accepted the rank of Major in the 
Tipperary Militia, and finally became Lieut.- Colonel 
North Cork Rifles on the 29th of October, 1873. 


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